Georgetown chamber adds voice for President to set poll date immediately

President David Granger speaks with members of the media.
President David Granger speaks with members of the media.

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is calling on President David Granger to issue an election proclamation in keeping with the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

“We call on the President to proclaim a date, not later than the earliest date suggested by the GECOM Chair, for the General Elections in accordance with his powers stipulated in Article 61 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,” the GCCI said in a statement.

The statement came after Guyana Elections Commission Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh informed the President that the Commission would be ready to execute elections by the end of February 2020.

The GCCI re-emphasised its call for the preservation of democracy and constitutional compliance through the holding of free and fair elections following the passage of the No-Confidence Motion of December 21, 2018. The Private Sector body said that the glaring absence of a date for elections has placed Guyana’s democratic system in jeopardy, noting that the Guyanese people deserve transparency and accountability from institutions at all levels of government.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), GCCI said, in its June 2019 consequential orders, had stipulated that elections be held within a three-month timeline, which after factoring the delays owing to legal challenges would have placed the deadline at yesterday, September 18, 2019.

“Given the GECOM Chair’s recent announcement that elections could be held as early as February 2020, more than one year and two months after the No-Confidence Motion; the GCCI notes, with utmost concern that the country cannot continue to function without a Cabinet and Parliament. Business cannot continue as usual under a caretaker Government with limited legal authority,” the statement noted.

The body reminded that a No-Confidence Motion is an important tool used in a representative democracy which serves the purpose of ensuring that Members of Parliament are accountable to the electorate. It also noted that while the Government has accepted its caretaker status, its continuance in office beyond the September 18 date signifies a departure from democratic accountability and political order.