The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) – the largest party of the coalition government –is supporting the move by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to begin house-to-house registration tomorrow – a move which is in flagrant violation of the Guyana Constitution and the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
“The [PNC/R] welcomes the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) independent decision to commence house-to-house registration, starting tomorrow, Saturday 20th July 2019,” the PNC/R said in a statement today.
The CCJ ordered that the Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution be upheld and respected, bearing in mind that the no-confidence motion against the government was passed as long as December 21, 2018.
Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”
Article 107 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”
GECOM’s legal officer, Excellence Dazzle, has reportedly already advised the Commission that proceeding with house-to-house registration would be in contempt of court.
Going ahead with this lengthy registration process would result in elections being held until after September 18, 2019 – which would have marked the end of the three-month constitutional deadline for elections.
In fact, elections ought to have already been held since March 21, 2019 – following the passage of the no-confidence motion against the government on December 21, 2018.
But since a legal challenge was mounted by the government against the validity of the passage, the clock was paused. According to the CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, that clock resumed when the regional court ruled on June 18, 2019 that the motion was indeed validly passed.