The looming prospects of early general elections have riveted the country in the last nine months.
From court cases to protests to long press conferences from the different sides of the political divide, the political stalemate has held up foreign investments and caused much uncertainty.
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) said it reiterates and re-emphasizes its call for the preservation of democracy and constitutional compliance through the holding of free and fair elections following the passage of the no-confidence motion of December 21st, 2018.
“The glaring absence of a date for elections has placed Guyana’s democratic system in jeopardy. Guyanese people deserve transparency and accountability from institutions at all levels of government and the GCCI calls on Guyana’s leaders to maintain democracy by acting in accordance with the supreme law of Guyana,” a statement said.
“The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in its June 2019 consequential orders, had stipulated that elections be held within a three-month timeline, which after factoring the delays due to legal challenges would have placed the date at yesterday (Wednesday), September 18th, 2019.”
According to the GCCI, given the GECOM Chair’s announcement yesterday that elections could be held as early as February 2020, more than one year and two months after the December 21st no-confidence motion; the GCCI noted “with utmost concern” that the country cannot continue to function without a cabinet and parliament.
“Business cannot continue as usual under a caretaker government with limited legal authority. We call on the President to proclaim a date, not later than the earliest date suggested by the GECOM Chair, for the General Elections in accordance with his powers stipulated in Article 61 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”
The GCCI said that it wishes to remind the authorities that a no-confidence motion is an important tool used in a representative democracy which serves the purpose of ensuring that members of parliament are accountable to the electorate. While the government has accepted its caretaker status, its continuance in office beyond yesterday signifies a departure from democratic accountability and political order.”
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