In light of an alleged decision taken by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to commence House to House Registration, the People’s Progressive Party Commissioners contended that the specifics with regards the issue was not discussed and voted on at Tuesday’s Statutory Meeting.
In a 4-3 three vote at the statutory meeting, it was decided that elections cannot be held within 90 days as there was insufficient funds for same. GECOM’s chairman, James Patterson has reportedly voted with the three PNC Councillors.
However, PPP noted that the time has come for international actions to be taken since GECOM is blatantly ignoring the Constitution of Guyana which stipulates that elections should be held within 90 days following the passage of the No Confidence resolution which means March 19, 2019.
According to the party, GECOM in its refusal to hold elections demonstrated their illogical willingness to tow the Government’s line. In so doing, it has made the Constitution of Guyana subservient to the will of Commission and as such, this should not be the case, the PPP stated.
GECOM’s mandate, as stipulated by the Constitution, clearly states in Article 162 (1) of the Constitution that: “The Elections Commission shall have such functions connected with or relating to the registration of electors or the conduct of elections as are conferred upon it by or under this Constitution or, subject thereto, any Act of Parliament.”
During a protest earlier in the month, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has stated that the president should take it upon himself and announce a date for the hosting of elections.
“The legislature has spoken. The judiciary has spoken. The President, over the weekend, seems to believe that none of this matters. And so we have to show him that we are serious about having him respect our Constitution”, Jagdeo stated.
GECOM had given July as a timeline for the hosting of elections but at the same time, it stated that the present voters’ list will expire on April 30. Although the opposition has been calling for elections within the constitutional time frame, the Government claimed that it was up to GECOM’s readiness to host same.
Since the passage of the no confidence resolution, the Guyana Elections Commission has been dragging its feet with respect to elections preparation.
“GECOM has a moral and ethical responsibility to get elections done before March 19. What is before the Commission now is to come up with actions to ensure this. So I don’t know where this thing about July is coming in. There is only one way that date can be extended. And Opposition and Government have to agree by a two-thirds majority”, Jagdeo had stated.