Opposition’s actions could force snap elections
“….If I conclude that this kind of behaviour is slowing down our development, I will have no hesitation.” – President Ramotar
By Gary Eleazar
President Donald Ramotar is not ruling out the possibility of snap elections. The Head of State had just delivered a fiery presentation to a May Day gathering at the National Park, when he told this publication that such a decision will be based on the actions of the political opposition.
“If I conclude that this kind of behaviour is slowing down our development I will have no hesitation…When I come to that decision you will know.”
Ramotar was referring to the recent Budget cuts by the political opposition, which the President repeatedly concluded had no justification. Such continued actions could force his hand at calling a snap election, he stated.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have signaled a state of readiness in the event of a snap election, but some political scientists have concluded that it is only the People’s Progressive Civic (PPP/C) that is financially in a position to undertake an election at short notice.
Following the results of the November 28, 2011 polls which saw the PPP/C losing control in the House of Legislature (Parliament), the government’s chief spokesperson had said that snap elections would be a last resort.
The spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, had said that the government was looking to the tripartite meetings to break the deadlock, but this forum never gained traction.
The extra-parliamentary budget talks which were originally between APNU and the Administration, and subsequently amended to include the AFC, also broke down.
The result was that $21B was gutted from the 2012 Budget.
The combined opposition during the amendments to the 2012 Budget also slashed $500M from the Guyana Elections Commission.
AFC Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan is on record as saying that attempts on the part of Government to indicate the possibility of snap elections, are nothing more than an attempt to distract the opposition.
“I don’t believe that there is going to be snap elections. I believe that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wants the opposition to be running hither, thither and across the place preparing for it.”
“Mr Donald Ramotar will not be the presidential candidate because his internal Freedom House is calling for Primaries now in relation to who should be the presidential candidate. If he now calls an election and they have to find a presidential candidate, he might not be that person and he wouldn’t want to risk that in place of five years as President.”
APNU’s Lance Carberry recently shrugged off the idea of a snap election saying that it was not as easy as the president waking up one morning and calling such an election.
He was adamant that there are a host of obstacles that would prevent a call to revisit the polls.