Granger says agreement reached on some issues
President David Granger says that the meeting today between the government and the opposition ended successfully with the two sides reaching agreement on some issues.
Granger provided an update minutes after the one-hour-long meeting between himself and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo ended, in a live video which is available on the Ministry of the Presidency’s Facebook page.
The two men and members of their teams met as scheduled at 11am at the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP). The meeting was held at the behest of Jagdeo following the controversial passage of the no confidence motion on December 21. The vote was declared passed by Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland following a `yes’ vote from now former government MP Charrandass Persaud.
In the video the president informed that two main issues were discussed. The first is the functioning of the National Assembly and the functioning of government.
“Neither of these institutions, the legislative branch and the executive branch could be allowed to fail. Public services have to be delivered. Public order has to be maintained and therefore the two sides reached broad agreement on how these two institutions…will continue to function,” he said.
The president said that the second important issue discussed was General and Regional elections. He said he defended government’s legal recourse in the courts in order to determine the validity of the no confidence vote as “quite legitimate” adding that there is no intention on the part of the government to derail the constitutional or legislative process.
In this regard, he said that the two sides have agreed that they will continue to work together to engage GECOM “to ensure that elections are held within the administrative capabilities of the Guyana Elections Commission.”
“I would say in conclusion that we have had a successful engagement. Both the Leader of the Opposition and the President are concerned about the situation. We would like to assure the public in Guyana that we are working to a solution which they will be satisfied with. The public interest is of paramount concern”, he said.
Members of Jagdeo’s team declined to speak to the media who were standing outside the compound. Jagdeo is expected to provide an update on the outcome of the talks at a press conference to be held at 2pm today.
At a press conference at 2 pm, Jagdeo did not provide details on agreements reached with Granger but said that elections have to be held before April 30 this year otherwise the government would be illegitimate. He added that the two Chief Whips would meet with GECOM to determine readiness for the elections and would then decide if they have to return to the National Assembly for an extended date for the elections.
The two leaders were accompanied by key advisers.
According to the Department of Public Information, Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC;, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan; Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally; Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge were also present for the Government side.
Opposition members of Parliament, Juan Edghill, Gail Teixeira, Anil Nandlall, Odinga Lumumba, Dr. Frank Anthony, Pauline Sukhai and Irfaan Ali accompanied the Opposition Leader.
Elections will be held when GECOM is fully prepared
General and regional elections will be held when the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has the administrative capability to do so.
This is according to President David Granger who noted that it was one of two outcomes which came to the fore following a meeting with the Opposition on Thursday. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo led an opposition delegation to the meeting with the President at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Led by the President and several government ministers, the President said that the two sides discussed the functioning of the Legislative and the Executive arms of governance.
He said neither of the two branches of government “could be allowed to fail” as he noted that public services must be delivered and public order must be maintained. He said the two sides reached “broad agreement” on how the two branches function.
The President noted that the government has made legal recourse to the courts following the outcome of last month’s no confidence motion vote.
He deemed the move “quite legitimate” and according to him, government has no intention to derail constitution and legislative process.
The President noted too that the two sides agreed that GECOM will continue to be engaged to ensure elections are held when that body is able to undertake same.The President assured the public that a satisfactory solution is being pursued.
“The public interest is our paramount concern,” the President said.
GECOM chair medical leave extended
THE medical leave of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) chairman, ret’d Justice James Patterson has been extended based on his doctor’s recommendations. He was due to return to work on January 8, 2019.
Tuesday would have marked the reconvening of the GECOM’s statutory meeting where pertinent matters were to be discussed, such as the possibility that General and Regional Elections could be held before 2020.
GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Warde, however, confirmed that the meeting has been postponed to a later date.
“Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, retired Justice James Patterson has informed that his medical leave has been extended following a visit to his doctor on 7th January, 2019,” a release from the commission stated.
She told the newspaper that the period of extension has not been stated but as soon as this information becomes available, an update will be provided.
The chairman, who became ill last month, was admitted to hospital and was discharged on December 14, 2018. While home recuperating he is being monitored by his doctor.
According to release, Patterson’s doctor said he requires “additional rest to ensure that he fully recovers to effectively resume duty”.
In a previous conversation with the media, Warde had updated that Patterson’s condition has been listed as stable.
“We have been assured that his condition is nothing to be alarmed about, he’s in very stable condition, [and] that he has to go by his doctor’s advice to ensure that he has adequate rest,” she said.
She added that the chairman will be the one to provide further updates on his resumption of duties.
Transcript of the address of His Excellency, Brigadier David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on the recently concluded meeting with Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, January 9, 2019
The Government of Guyana and the Opposition of the National Assembly met today, Wednesday, January 9, to examine two main issues.
The first, of course, is the function of the National Assembly and the second is the function of the government.
Neither of these two important institutions, legislative branch and executive branch could be allowed to fail.
Public services have to be delivered, public order has to be maintained and therefore the two sides reached broad agreement on how these two institutions, the legislative branch and executive branch will continue to function.
The second important issue which was discussed was general and regional elections. As you know, the government has had legal recourse to the courts in order to determine the validity of the vote in the National Assembly on the 21st December, 2018.
This is quite legitimate and there is no intention on the part of the government to derail the constitutional or legislative process.
We have agreed that the two sides will continue to work together to engage GECOM to ensure that elections are held within the administrative capabilities of the Guyana Elections Commission.
I would say in conclusion, that we have had a successful engagement, both the leader of the Opposition and the President are concerned about the situation.
We would like to assure the public of Guyana that we are working to a solution which they will be satisfied with. The public interest is our paramount concern.