Jagdeo says Sept. 18 was ‘red line’ day; calls for decisive action from GECOM Chair

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Exactly three months after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) validated the December 21, 2018 passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the Coalition Government, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to act now and set a date before General and Regional Elections before the end of this year.

In a statement this evening (Wednesday, September 18, 2019), Jagdeo urges GECOM to bring an end to the delaying tactics of the APNU+AFC Coalition.

See below for the full statement from the Opposition Leader: 

The Chairwoman of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh, needs to act now, consistent with our Constitution, the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice and her statement to both government and opposition parties that she is working to have elections before the end of the year.

I am sure that by now she would have observed the pattern of APNU+AFC’s ploy where the caretaker President says to the public that he wants elections in the shortest possible time but have his Commissioners put every conceivable obstacle in the path to early elections.

And further, he now blames GECOM for his non-compliance with the constitution. She may have also observed that senior elements in the Secretariat seem to have the same agenda – presenting inflated timelines and issuing bias press releases.

September 18th, 2019 was a “red line” day for Guyana and the Chair of GECOM should have long removed the caretaker President’s excuse by writing him to inform him about their readiness to hold elections before the end of the year. She has not done so thus far.

To my surprise at this late hour in the evening of the 18th of September, another bias press release is sent out by GECOM seeking to blame an opposition Commissioner for not submitting a timeline for elections at today’s meeting and saying that the Chair will make a decision tomorrow on the basis of a proposal submitted by Mr. [Charles] Corbin.

The Commissioners representing the Opposition made a conscious decision not to submit another proposal at this time which would have invariably triggered another round of protracted discussion designed to delay a decision being made when the primary purpose of the meeting was to authorise the Chair to write the caretaker President before the end of the day (September 18).

One may ask: what precisely has the Commission been doing for the past six weeks if not settling on a timeline for elections? Why the request for new proposals only today?

Notwithstanding, several proposals were shared before, which if adjusted for time, can still deliver elections before the end of the year.

The Chairwoman must act decisively now. She must end the prevarication of the Secretariat – which had advised the CCJ that even with a full house-to-house registration exercise they would’ve been ready to hold elections before the end of the year – and stop the delaying tactics of the APNU+AFC.