Jun 21, 2019 News
“He [President Granger] can delay the appointment of the new chairman of GECOM as an excuse to delay the elections further. Because that is precisely what they want, as everyone has seen.”
This statement was made by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, during a press conference yesterday at his Church Street office.
On Tuesday, the CCJ upheld the no-confidence motion passed against the Government on December 21, last. The Court also found that the process undertaken by President David Granger to appoint retired Justice James Patterson to the position of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), was flawed and unconstitutional.
In his comments on the way forward, Jagdeo said “The President must follow the judgment. He cannot make a unilateral appointment, as the court has ruled, once the leader of the opposition is willing to engage. And I am willing to engage.”
Jagdeo further said that, consistent with the CCJ’s judgment, he can have a list ready in a matter of hours. He is adamant that elections can and must be held within three months.
“We have to move forward. Within three months, we believe that it can be ready.”
“This is vital for us and we hope that, in the consequential orders, the court would look at this because the President can use [the appointment] as an excuse.”
Due to this concern, Jagdeo has been meeting with members of the diplomatic community to keep them informed about the CCJ ruling and its consequences, hoping that they would take a strong stance on the matter.
Jagdeo told the conference he has already met with officials of the United States.
“I have met with them and scheduled to meet with some others later. I am supposed to meet the Secretary General of CARICOM next week.”
He also expects to engage in dialogue with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
While he did not divulge details of his discussion, Jagdeo noted that the diplomats were briefed on the party‘s position going forward.
The Opposition Leader said too that he has informed the community of threats and inflammatory rhetoric being spewed by members of the Government side.
According to Jagdeo, these threats are potentially polarising to the nation and can destabilise the country‘s democracy. He said that he has informed the diplomatic representatives, accordingly.
On Tuesday, the US Embassy, British High Commission, Canadian High Commission and Delegation of the European Union to Guyana issued a joint statement on the ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The envoys urged that respect be shown to the ruling and that the parties find an agreement on the way forward.
The statement was approved by United States of America, Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch; United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn; High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee and EU Ambassador, Jernej Videtič.
The diplomats noted that “The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled and it is important that all sides respect that ruling. We also encourage all to come to an agreement on the way forward.”
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