No big announcements in New Year’s address – Ramotar
As the nation hold its breath for the announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly and a possible date for
the hosting of General and Regional Elections, President Donald Ramotar said the matter will not be addressed in his New Year’s Day message to the nation.
The announcement of the dissolution of Parliament and General Elections has to be made by President Donald Ramotar.
President Ramotar in a telephone interview with Guyana Times on Sunday said that it is an established custom for the President to address the nation on the dawn of a new year, but there was nothing extra “special” in his upcoming address.
He explained that there will be “no announcement for elections in my New Year’s message”. Earlier this month, the President had announced that Guyana will soon go to polls.
“I have considered and I have consulted and this is my resolve. We will go to elections. I have also since written to the international community alerting them to the possibility of early elections and the desire for them to field observer missions,” he said.
When pressed for clarity on a timeline within which a date will be set for a return to the polls, the President had said that he will make the proclamation before the Mashramani celebrations, possibly in his New Year’s Message to the nation.
Once a date is set, political parties kick into campaign mode. Also once a proclamation, announcing a date, is made by the President to go to General and Regional Elections, constitutionally, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has three months within which to deliver.
Ramotar added that between now and the announcement of a date; he will be engaging GECOM, as well as any other stakeholder groups in talks. “I have an open door policy,” he said.
President’s decision to call General and Regional Elections in 2015 is receiving the support of civil society, with the exception of a few.
Former Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Clinton Urling, who now heads the newly-formed social change advocate group Blue CAPS, offered his commendation to President Ramotar on Sunday.
Urling told Guyana Times that though the President should have named a date for the elections, no longer can the country endure gridlock at the level of the National Assembly as the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) engage in a struggle for power at the expense of the electorate.
The results, whether it favours the ruling PPP/C or the Opposition, should be respected even if it returns a minority Government to power.
According to Urling, if the electorate votes another minority Government into office, it is clear that they are calling for “inclusive power”, and political parties should put aside their individual agendas and work in the best interest of Guyana.
The PPP/C has won every election since entering office in 1992; however, during the 2011 elections, it returned to power with a minority with the Opposition dominating the National Assembly.