[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader David Granger and Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan have lashed out at President Donald Ramotar in a bid to pressure him into naming an early date for regional and general elections in keeping with his promise in 2014.
The two have accused the Guyanese Head of State of playing for time while reasoning that the uncertainty over general elections is negatively affecting the local economy.Speaking to a local daily recently, Granger said the economy is being affected negatively with the delay in naming a date for general elections, although these elections are not due until 2016.
Ramotar had said last year that he would announce a date for the holding of elections early in 2015 following the prorogation of Guyana’s Parliament , failed dialogue between the Opposition and Executive and continuing Parliamentary gridlock where the opposition holds a one seat majority.
Granger believes the delay in naming a date is being done while the government campaigns at the expense of parliamentary democracy and scrutiny.
He was quoted as saying “We do not know when the elections will be called. We believe though that the failure and the delay to do so have the effect of fear and uncertainty and a dampening of the overall atmosphere of the population.”
He told reporters that people are afraid to invest due to the uncertainty; businesses do not want to invest their money. Granger said he is also wondering what will happen next. He pointed out that the National Assembly has not met for five months to deal with the people’s business; regarding it as a travesty.
“The President is stretching the Constitution for the benefit of his party. In the first instance, he wants to give himself as much time as possible to prepare his own party’s election campaign without declaring an official campaign,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ramjattan believes Ramotar is playing a dangerous game by failing to name a date for general elections.
Ramjattan believes too that power struggles within the PPP is also playing a role in the delay as Ramotar wants to settle his candidacy even as others argue that he cannot win a plurality.
Over the last three years, Ramotar’s minority government was met serious resistance from the opposition parties both in and out of the National Assembly and rarely found common ground on issues of national development.
Meanwhile, the assurance has been given by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) that once the date is announce by the President it will be ready to roll out those elections successfully within the constitutionally stipulated time-frame.