Govt trying to polarise Guyana – Opposition Leader

first_img…as diplomats briefed on “inflammatory language” following CCJ rulingPresident David Granger, along with ministers of the Government, is trying to polarise Guyana to suit self-serving agendas; but the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been notifying and updating the international community, and will continue to do so in regard to the actions and utterances of the administration, which are in direct defiance of democracy and the country’s Constitution.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThis is according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who told reporters that since the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Monday — that the APNU/AFC Government was defeated by the Opposition’s no-confidence motion last year December — he has been meeting with ambassadors and other representatives of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union, besides the Commonwealth Secretary General; and is scheduled to meet with the Caricom Secretary General sometime next week.“With the diplomatic community, we are briefing them on our position on the issue, going forward. Secondly, we are pointing out to them about the threats to democracy that seem to be emanating now from the Government, and the use of inflammatory language to polarise the country once again. So we are putting the diplomatic community on notice on those two issues particularly,” Jagdeo said.He emphasised that, despite their public declarations, the response by the APNU/AFC coalition Government and the President’s defiance show that they are unwilling to act in accordance with the country’s laws.According to the Opposition Leader, the excuses made by the President and other Government officials about the current voters’ list not being applicable are simply excuses put forward to delay the hosting of national elections, as stipulated by Guyana’s Constitution.One of the main excuses being touted by the Government is that the names of dead individuals are on the present list, but Jagdeo noted that this can easily be remedied.“GECOM has the authority to remove (from the list the names of) people who have passed away, once they get a death certificate from the General Registrar’s Office (GRO). So why not get (the names of) all the people who have passed away for the last 10 years? Send for (the information) from GRO! Publish their names! Send the list to the two parties, and then remove every one (name). It is (as) simple as that! GECOM is empowered to do this without having to go to house-to-house registration, and people can get on the list without house-to-house registration…so nobody would be disenfranchised,” Jagdeo declared.The Opposition Leader posited that the APNU/AFC coalition administration is using weak arguments and excuses in order to prevent free and fair elections from taking place in the country, and he said this is an act which stifles the democratic rights of every Guyanese.“That is what they are hoping to work on. This house-to-house registration is a ploy to delay elections…that is what they are aiming for. Thankfully, now the Constitution has spoken, the CCJ has spoken, elections (should be held) in three months.”The Opposition Leader is adamant that house-to-house registration is not necessary to facilitate elections during the constitutionally mandated timeframe of three months, and he said GECOM can be ready to host elections by that date.Delaying tacticsHowever, the Government has been peddling misinformation about the Official List of Electors in what the Opposition has since said is an effort to further delay the hosting of elections, which were due since March.In fact, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had called out President David Granger earlier this week for deliberately peddling falsehoods about the voters’ list.Contrary to President Granger’s declaration: that the current voters’ list will not include the names of youths and young adults who have attained the age of 18 years since 2015, there have occurred at least three cycles of continuous registration, and those were done to update the National Register of Registrants; and once those persons attain the age of 18, their names are transferred to the Official List of Electors, commonly called the voters’ list.Given the three cycles of continuous registration that have occurred since 2015, Jagdeo said, the current voters’ list is not flawed, and can be used to facilitate elections in Guyana within the constitutionally stipulated time frame.“So this falsehood, this falsehood that he perpetuates: that people are not on (the list) since the last elections in 2015, the people who are not on the list is a total lie. It is beneath the President to so flagrantly lie to the people of our country. It is a flagrant lie!” the Opposition Leader said.He explained that, in light of the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice: that the no-confidence motion was validly passed in December 2018, elections can be held within three months from the date that this momentous decision was made, which is June 18, 2019.Jagdeo reminded that the list in question is the same list that Government Commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the GECOM Chairman had deemed valid up to April 30 last.He added that there have been several cycles of continuous registration, giving Guyanese an opportunity to register since the last house-to-house registration exercise was undertaken. Therefore, he said, house-to-house registration is not necessary to facilitate elections during the constitutionally-mandated timeframe of three months, and GECOM could be ready to host elections by the time stipulated.Jagdeo emphasised that the Public Relations Officer of GECOM had earlier this year stated that the Commission could be ready to hold elections within a three-month period, and even the Chief Elections Officer appointed at GECOM had confirmed that the current voters’ list is “clean”.It was only on Tuesday that the CCJ ruled that Government was defeated by the Opposition’s no-confidence motion last December.Article 106 of Guyana’s Constitution states that, following the passage of the no-confidence motion, the President and Cabinet must resign, and elections must be held within three months of the motion. That deadline elapsed since March 21, 2019, with Government having spent much of the time in court, seeking to overturn the motion rather than ensuring elections were held.last_img

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