Jagdeo sets conditions for extending elections date beyond March 21

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The Parliamentary Opposition has agreed to extend the deadline for national elections, but only if the David Granger – Administration adheres to certain requests, including  to have elections before the expiry of the current voters’ list on April 30, 2019.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo last evening (March 4, 2019) responded to the Head-of-State’s invitation for a meeting tomorrow (March 6, 2019) by laying out certain conditions.

Jagdeo proposed:

  1. The date of the General and Regional Elections to be held before the expiration of the present voters’ list on April 30, 2019;
  2. No new contracts to be awarded by the State, including Regional Democratic Councils, and, State-owned corporations after March 21, 2019;
  3. No new agreements, loans, grants, land leases, or any other such agreements or contracts after March 21, 2019, that bind Government;
  4. No abuse of State resources for partisan activities/purposes;
  5. Access of the State-owned media by all the contesting political parties.

“On the agreement of your Government to these proposals, the Parliamentary Opposition will be prepared to lend its support for the two-thirds majority required comply with Article 106 (7) for an extension beyond March 21, 2019,” the letter to President Granger outlined.

Following the passage of a no-confidence motion, elections are to be held within 90-days, according to the Constitution of Guyana, as accepted by the Chairman of GECOM in his letter to the President.

The only way the deadline for the polls can be extended is through a two-thirds majority vote in the National Assembly; otherwise, the Government effectively becomes illegal.

“…the Guyana Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana, and, therefore, the proposed meeting can only and must only focus on ensuring that the Constitution is not violated, and, that general and regional elections are held in compliance with Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) following the December 21, 2018 passage of the no-confidence motion,” Jagdeo penned.

But GECOM has  insisted that it is unprepared to hold elections before the constitutionally due deadline.

As such, the Opposition Leader informed the President that his proposal to have before April 30, 2019 is “reasonable” and “feasible” with a claims and objections period, “provided that GECOM acts in good faith and in conformity with its mandate and the Constitution”.

Jagdeo says if the President finds favour with the proposal, he will meet with him tomorrow as requested.

“However, time is of the essence, March 21, 2019, when the government becomes unconstitutional, is fast approaching,” he concluded the letter.

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