By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar announced this evening, in an address to the nation, that General and Regional Elections will be held on Monday, May11th , 2015.
The Guyanese Head of State said he is advised that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) would be in a state of readiness for these polls on that date.
“As usual, I intent to invite international observers to be part of the elections process and I will expect the political parties, the security services and the people of Guyana to conduct themselves in a manner that would ensure continued peace and stability before, during and after the elections,” President Ramotar said.
He observed too that “we have a collective obligation to ensure the protection of the democratic gains we have made and for which we have endured so much as a nation to secure.”
President Ramotar prorogued Parliament on November 10, 2014 ahead of a debate on a No – Confidence motion brought against his administration; saying it was to facilitate dialogue between the Executive and the parliamentary opposition.
The Opposition has refused to engage the government and the President had subsequently committed to dissolving Parliament and calling fresh elections ahead of its 2016 due date.
“I had hoped that the period of prorogation would have allowed for extant tensions to ease and for all of the parliamentary parties to constructively engage the government. At all times I have acted in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana” Ramotar said.
He went onto to add that “I also did it to enfranchise those persons, through no fault of their own, who could not get on the Voters Roll at the last election because of lack of source documents, mainly residents living in the hinterland.”
Ramotar said unfortunately, the opportunities that prorogation provided for continued dialogue and engagements with the parliamentary opposition parties have not materialized.
He said his commitment is to preserving and strengthening democracy.