Opposition writes GECOM to begin elections preparations

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Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall today dispatched a letter to the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) requesting that the entity begin preparing for elections.

Nandlall, who was acting on behalf of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, reminded CEO Keith Lowenfield of the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Speaking on the provisions of Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana, the court said “their meaning is clear and it is the responsibility of the constitutional actors in Guyana to honour them…the Guyana Elections Commission has that responsibility to conduct elections and GECOM too must abide by the provisions of the Constitution.”

Nandlall also reminded that the court expressed hope that these “bodies and personages will exercise their responsibilities with integrity and in keeping with the unambiguous provisions of the Constitution…”

Against this backdrop, Nandlall told Lowenfield that “in compliance with the extraordinarily clear language of the CCJ above, I hereby request that you immediately commence preparations for the holding of General and Regional Elections on a date no later than 18th day of September 2019.”

The letter added: “you must be aware, that GECOM, was made party to the aforementioned legal proceedings, by the CCJ, so as the make the Orders of the Court directly binding on GECOM and as the Chief Elections Officer, you are inextricably, bound.”

“Therefore, any actions or omissions on your party which may be interpreted to be in violation or frustration of the letter and spirit of the Orders and judgments of the CCJ may expose you to contempt of Court proceedings.”

GECOM is currently without a chairperson, after Justice James Patterson stepped down in light of the CCJ ruling that he was appointed unconstitutionally by President David Granger.

The Head-of-State and the Opposition Leader are currently in talks to appoint a new chairperson.