Intervention by int’l community “wholly necessary” – Jagdeo

first_imgElections 2020Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the recent intervention by the international community regarding the hosting of General and Regional Elections here was “wholly necessary”.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoBefore caretaker President David Granger set the March 2, 2020 elections date last week and his subsequent issuance of the elections proclamation earlier this week, international pressure was continuing to mount on him and the Government. The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as the Commonwealth and the Organisation of American States (OAS), all issued statements urging the naming of an election date and for the Head of State to issue the proclamation.However, Foreign Affairs Minister Karen Cummings said that the pressure from the international community on the coalition government for constitutional compliance was “uncalled for”. “… We met with all stakeholders and members of the diplomatic corps and the President would have outlined the way forward. So all this agitation is uncalled for. We are a Government and we remain in power until another President is sworn in. March 2, wherever the chips fall, that is it,” she contended at a press conference earlier this week.But the following day, the Opposition Leader argued that it was necessary since it was the mounted pressure both locally and overseas that forced President David Granger to finally name a date for the much-anticipated elections.“It was unnecessary, that’s their view but for the whole country, this was very necessary because they were supposed to call elections since March 21, 2019 and they were unwilling to set a date until the international pressure and we stepped up the process. It was wholly necessary to get Granger to comply with the Constitution and to obey the ruling of the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice),” Jagdeo posited.The CCJ on June 18 had validated the December 2018 passage of the Opposition-tabled No-Confidence Motion against the coalition government, and in its subsequent orders on July 10, had stated that the NCM had given effect to Article 106 and triggered early elections.In fact, elections were due since March 21, 2019 but with the legal battles that ensued, that timeline was on pause and according to the Trinidad-based regional court, the elections timeline took effect from its June ruling, thus, making September 18, 2019 the new deadline for elections to be held.During Wednesday’s press conference, Minister Cummings said ‘Cabinet’ (which legally stands resigned following the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling in July) had “decided” that they will obey the law and has set a date as soon as possible for the holding of polls.A statement which did not sit well with Jagdeo.“Imagine, at the Cabinet level and the caucus they’ve decided that they will obey the rule of law. Can you imagine this, as though they had an option…,” he asserted.According to Jagdeo, “Paranoia has taken over Government and this happens to people who are embattled. They feel that everyone, the whole world is against them”.Furthermore, the Opposition Leader contended that President Granger did not do the country or anyone a favour by naming a date for elections or issuing the proclamation since he was constitutionally bound to do so.“Let us be clear that it was no favour to Guyana. In fact, if we trace how the proclamation was issued, it had to be dragged out of him. It took several acts of protest and also several statements from the international community, threatening the withholding of aid and declaring him unconstitutional to get him to do what he should have done a long time ago… and to get him to do what is legal and constitutional,” Jagdeo stressed.On this note, he reminded that setting the date and issuing the proclamation does not change the status of the caretaker coalition government, which he said remains unconstitutional.In fact, he added that even now the coalition administration is in “flagrant violation” of the Constitution and the rulings of the courts when the Cabinet, with impunity and almost in an ‘in your face’ kind of way, meets almost every week.Article 106, which the courts ruled was activated via the December 2018 passage of the No-Confidence Motion against the coalition, states that the Cabinet including the President shall resign and call elections in three months.last_img

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