‘Once GECOM determines its readiness, we’re good to go’ – AG Williams

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Part of the panel. From left is former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and his successor, Basil Williams

If the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) decides that it can go to the polls by September 18, 2019, then the coalition Administration of A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) would be willing to abide by the agency’s decision.

This is according to Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams, as he appeared on a live broadcasted panel discussion hosted by the American Chambers (AmCham) on Monday at the Marriott Hotel.

A member of the audience posed a direct question to the AG, asking him whether the Government is prepared to abide by whatever decision GECOM makes, and whether Williams would accordingly advise the President if GECOM says it can hold elections in the three months’ time frame. Williams maintained that they were.

“The President is on record as saying that it is for GECOM to determine the readiness for elections in Guyana; not the President, not the Government. So, once GECOM determines its readiness, we’re good to go,” Williams insisted.

“We are ready, willing and able to have an election. The President is ready to name an election date, provided he is advised by GECOM as to its readiness,” Williams added.

Meanwhile, fellow panellist, the former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, noted that the no-confidence motion has, and will have, a serious effect on the economy. Noting that even Williams has acknowledged that the Government now has caretaker status, Nandlall referred to all the things the Government cannot do.

According to Nandlall, the current status quo means that only routine contracts can be signed by the Government. And according to Nandlall, routine contracts cannot transform the economy or boost the economy.

Also appearing on the panel was former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran. He noted the ramifications if Guyana meanders on instead of having elections, especially on the oil and gas sector.

“Do you seriously think that a major company like ExxonMobil or its partners will seriously want to promote business, or engage in business, in a country that has a Government that is unconstitutional and is not supposed to be in office? Or a Government that has questions as to its status and stability? This is billions of US we’re talking about.

“Don’t you think ExxonMobil will want to hold back? And if they hold back, don’t you think that will do enormous damage to our economy, not only in its growth but its international stature? We’re in great jeopardy if this Government does not call elections by September 18 or talk to the Opposition and get an extension,” Ramkarran said.