GUYANA-POLITICS-Granger hopes to announce elections date during national address

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According to CANA, President David Granger says he has no intention of  going beyond the time line set by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) when he addresses the nation later on Wednesday night.

“I hope that this evening, I will be able to make a public announcement to the nation on the dates,” Granger told reporters following the accreditation of the High Commissioner of the Kingdom Lesotho to Guyana.

President David Granger speaking to reporters (CMC Photo)

Granger said that should the Commission require further funding in order to stage the elections, the government will have to return to Parliament to seek the funds.

Granger said he would also meet with the recently appointed GECOM chair, retired justice Claudette Singh to ascertain what timelines the Commission has in mind regarding the polls.

“It is a certainty. We are not going to go beyond the time that she has laid down. I would like to return to Parliament, to ensure that she has all the resources that the Commission needs and that she complies with the requirements of the law including that there are claims and objections,” he told reporters.

Last week, Singh said an election can be held here by the end of February next year.

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is the country’s highest court, had in July said that the vote of no confidence which had been passed last December against Granger’s coalition administration was valid and urged all parties to adhere to the provisions of the country’s constitution.

Under the Guyana Constitution, the elections should take place 90 days after the vote of no confidence is passed. The Constitution also makes provision for an extension of the period based only on a two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament.

The main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which has been campaigning for the early poll after successfully tabling the motion of no confidence, said it is disappointed that the polls would most likely be held in February next year.

Granger told reporters that his coalition administration places total reliance on the Commission, which has its own constitutional responsibility of preparing for the elections.

“So, there’s a reasonable expectation on our part that these expectations will be complied with. I need to meet her to find out whether there are any difficulties and whether she has any other needs to ensure that her own timeline of February could be met.”

On Monday, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, called on President  Granger and “ all relevant stakeholders and institutions” to immediately set a date for fresh regional and general elections in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Scotland said she was urging all stakeholders “to restore constitutional rule in Guyana by immediately setting an early election date in consonance with its constitution, enabling elections to be held without further delay”.

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