It would be more transparent for the UN to conduct local elections- Opposition Leader

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Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Due to the historical concerns about free and fair elections in Guyana, Opposition leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has suggested that an external agency that has credibility and weight like the United Nations (UN) could possibly be contracted to conduct elections here.

“We could hold a credible elections with just oversight from Guyanese, cheaper than if we contract an international body that all the parties could agree to” Jagdeo explained.

The Opposition Leader premised his assertions on the historical and current concerns about a free and fair election in 2020.

He also feels if this is contracted out to an international body it would be cheaper to undertake.

“Maybe that could be a model, I’m not saying that we want that, I’m just saying that we need to discuss these things because if the conduct of free and fair elections have always been a worry of the people of this country then we have to give them assurances that the two interested parties Government and Opposition in their fight, don’t overshadow need of the people and their right to free, fair, credible and well organized elections” the former President explained.

He posited that there could be a “heavy presence” of the United Nations in the electoral machinery and the formulation of a credible voters’ list.

Apart from the Carter Center model at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Jagdeo said there was no other model and President David Granger has ruined that model.

“He has disrespected that, he has changed all of it and he has acted illegally, from 25 years of practice he has acted unconstitutionally” Jagdeo posited.

He was referring to the unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman.

Jagdeo also hinted that the People’s Progressive Party will not agree to Guyana’s constitution to be amended to allow for the appointment of the seven-member GECOM Commissioners to be done by Parliament.

The Government holds a one seat majority in the National Assembly of Guyana.

President David Granger recently said the National Assembly should be involved in appointing the Commissioners because the current model has resulted in gridlock.

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