Govt. to make elections funds available ahead of CCJ rulings

President David Granger

With the recent Guyana Court of Appeal decisions, the Cabinet meetings have now restarted and it is the intention to request funds through a Bill which will be laid in the National Assembly for authorisation.

Speaking to reporters at the Ministry of the Presidency yesterday, Granger was answering questions on the state of preparedness when it comes to the Guyana Elections Commission.   

A shock December 21 no confidence vote against the Coalition Government in the National Assembly that was deemed carried had brought on the prospects of early elections.

However, the Government challenged the legality of the vote and after the High Court upheld it, the Court of Appeal last week in a majority decision overturned the High Court ruling.

The Opposition has approached the Caribbean Court of Justice for a final review.

In the meantime, the political situation has been raising alarms with the business and diplomatic communities.

GECOM, with representatives from both sides of the house, has been split on early elections with the Government side insisting on house-to-house registration to correct a bloated list.
The Opposition, however, insisted that house-to-house is not needed and that GECOM has to always be in a state of preparedness.

According to President David Granger, he has never disengaged from GECOM.

“I have written a couple of letters to the Chairman (Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson. The chairman has written a very detailed letter of the preparations so regardless of what happens at the Supreme Court; regardless what happens at the Court of Appeal; regardless what happens at the Caribbean Court of Justice, we are going to make sure we satisfy GECOM’s request.”

Among other things, Patterson recently asked for over G$3B in funding for elections. According to Granger, the government and the executive branch cannot interfere in the internal decision-making process at GECOM.

Granger said that he is happy at the level of cooperation from the Chairman with the requests from GECOM to be satisfied as far as possible.

“We are going to go back to Parliament and make requests to ensure that GECOM has everything it needs. We are committing to having clean and credible elections in the country…and I will engage GECOM to ensure that the request made to me by the Chairman is satisfied.”

In other words, the President said, whatever happens at any level of the judicial system, Guyana is going to be prepared for elections.

With regards to concerns of the business community, Granger said that it is a misconception… there is no crisis.

“Everything that happened since December 21 has been logical and on the part of Government, it has been under the framework of the law. As far as I know, Government has done nothing to endanger or cause disorder to the business community.”

He said that Government is willing to meet any group, as long as he is in Guyana, to assure that Government has been open and transparent.

“We used our legal rights. The Opposition is exercising their own to go to the Caribbean Court of Justice.”

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