Hours after groundbreaking rulings yesterday by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on the December 21st no-confidence vote in the National Assembly, President David Granger has made it clear that there will be respect for the judges’ decision.
However, there are immediate indications that the ruling Coalition is not inclined to rush into elections. Rather, according to the President, there are about 200,000 incorrect entries on the current voters’ list, which must be corrected.
The proclamation for general and regional elections will only come after advice from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the President said in an official statement.
He and his ministers were yesterday in Bartica, Region 7, a mining town.
Granger and his Cabinet of Ministers are currently on a number of countrywide outreaches to bring the government to the people. The Opposition, however, has been viewing those outreaches suspiciously as early campaigning for elections.
According to Granger yesterday, the no-confidence motion in December 2018, and the independent legal processes in the courts that followed it, have been of utmost importance to him and the Government.
“We respect the legal process and the decision of Caribbean Court of Justice as well as the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”
However, the President was quick to point out, from the inception, they did not believe that the no-confidence vote was valid, nor did it reflect the will of Parliament or the Guyanese people. “We will however accept, and abide by, the Court’s decision. It is now clear that the Guyanese people need certainty about the future and a way forward. I want to outline a clear path.”
He said that it is essential that fair, free and credible elections be held.
“We cannot proceed on the current list of voters. It is outdated and corrupted. It may hold as many as 200,000 incorrect entries. What’s more, those who have reached the age of 18 years since the last election are not on it.”
According to the President, the Constitution entitles all citizens over the age of 18 the right to vote.
“It is a democratic imperative that house-to-house registration be completed swiftly so we can have an election at the earliest opportunity. The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Patterson, has previously informed me that the Commission will be ready to hold elections in November 2019. This will be after the completion of house-to-house registration. I now await a recommendation for a specific date from GECOM and I will then issue a proclamation.”
Granger also batted for his government’s track record and called on voters to give them another vote of confidence.
“We will be heading to the polls and there’s going to be a crucial choice for our citizens.
A choice to decide the future of our country and, most importantly, the future with regard to jobs, living standards, and education for our children. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently indicated that Guyana is on the right path in respect to our management of Guyana’s oil resources.”
He stressed that Guyanese will be given the choice to elect a government they trust to continue on this path “to keep Guyana moving forward, to secure a better life for every family with the united APNU+AFC Coalition, or risk our future by returning to the past.”
According to the President, Guyana, since the election in 2015, has been moving in the right direction after 23 years of stagnation under successive PPP administrations.
“Significant progress has been made. But real change is neither quick nor easy to come by.
There is still a lot more to do. I will devote all my energies until the forthcoming election to serve our people and our country and deliver good governance.”
Granger said that Guyanese can confidently expect to live in a country that is moving forward; with communities that are safer; in a society that is more cohesive; with better infrastructure, greater access to quality education and an economy that is more resilient – providing better jobs.
“We are on the right path. When the election comes, I urge all our people, of whatever background, to support me and the APNU+AFC Coalition to give us the opportunity to secure the best future for Guyana. I call on all Guyanese to remain calm and I assure you that the Government will abide by the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”
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