Following the Government protest action outside of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Thursday calling for a delay in the hosting of Regional and National Elections, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo stated that there will be a constitutional crisis if the coalition Government does not hold elections in March.
“We are heading to a constitutional crisis and an unconstitutional illegal Government which will have serious complications for domestic interest and international ties… they are putting our country at risk”, Jagdeo said at his weekly press briefing on Thursday.
According to the Opposition Leader, the power lies only in the legislator to expand the life of Government through Article 106 (7) with a 2/3 vote of Members of Parliament in agreement.
“I hope that they will file all their appeals, we will represent ourselves at all of these hearings, but right now there is no consequence, nothing has stopped the clock… only the Legislator can expand the life of this Government” Jagdeo said.
When questioned, Jagdeo stated that his party is anticipating that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) deals with the matter before the March deadline.
“I anticipate that the CCJ will deal with this matter before the March deadline…the read appeal have not been filed though so I am concerned with them attempting to delay”.
Further, the former President highlighted that since the Chief Justice has upheld the decision taken in the National Assembly, the coalition refused to adhere to the constitution.
According to Jagdeo, the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) will maintain the moral high ground but at the same time, will take action.
“We are taking the moral high ground, we are not seeking violence, we will not be polarizing our people, so that is where we will always stand… but we are very forceful in our arguments and protest” the leader explained.
The Opposition Leader, the PPP/C is making it clear that his party will not accept an extended elections.
“People asking us if we are prepared to extend the life of the NCM and our answer is a categorical no…they took 18 days to hold a meeting between the Opposition Leader and President…they are not treating this matter seriously, they are doing nothing to show that they will meet this timeline. So how are we going to go to a meeting to say yes to this? We have been extremely reasonable so far, we have argued for the upholding of the constitution, held peaceful protest but his Government is doing everything to frustrate our constitution and the timeline imposed by the constitution…no one can blame the PPP for driving this country into a constitutional crisis, APNU/AFC will be totally responsible for this” Jagdeo said.
As such, the PPP/C head is urging Government to cease its attempts to hold onto power and to cease its continued breach of the constitution.