In continued defiance of the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), President David Granger has declared that there is no deadline for elections.
Only yesterday, Guyana’s Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire was forced to issue a statement clarifying that “the consequential orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice indicate that elections be held by September 18, 2019, or such longer period as the National Assembly determines”.
Quoting CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, President Granger said “These are the words of Justice Adrian Saunders, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice. So, there is no date issued by the CCJ, there are no timelines, there are no deadlines.”
He was referring to the CCJ President’s statement that “It is therefore not, for example, the role of the Court to establish a date on or by which the elections must be held or to lay down timelines and deadlines which in principle are the preserve of political actors guided by constitutional imperatives.”
But the CCJ President clearly stated that the government is required to comply with Articles (6) and (7) of the Constitution of Guyana, which mandate the resignation of the government and elections within three months of the passage of the no-confidence motion.
In this case, the CCJ President said that order takes effect from June 18, 2019 – when the court validated the passage of the motion of no-confidence. This would mean that elections ought to now be held by September 18, 2019.
In fact, the CCJ President had stated that GECOM and the President must comply with the Guyana Constitution, bearing in mind that the no-confidence motion was passed as long as December 21, 2018 and the fact that elections ought to have already been held since March 21, 2019.
But President Granger contended that the court made no coercive orders and therefore his government is not in contravention.
The Head-of-State made these statements to members of the private sector and civil society during a meeting at State House.
After making his lengthy speech, the Head-of-State retreated, leaving no room for questions from the audience.
Stakeholders who attended the forum, including private sector and trade union representatives, expressed disappointment in not having an avenue to ask the president questions on the political situation.
President Granger had earlier in the day met with members of the diplomatic community where he also briefed them on the political status of the country.
See President Granger’s full address to the civil society and diplomatic community members: https://www.facebook.com/MOTPGuyana/posts/2463359073724539?__tn__=K-R