Guyana: el presidente Granger se reúne con la Comisión de Elecciones para discutir fecha de comicios

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President to meet GECOM on Thursday ahead of “imminent” election date

President David Granger is Thursday scheduled to meet with the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), ahead of a possible announcement of an elections date in December, officials confirmed.

A well-placed official said the talks are slated for 10 am at the Ministry of the Presidency and is linked to his imminent naming of an election date.

Demerara Waves Online News has learnt that Guyanese might be going to the polls around mid-December.

That’s three months later than September 18, the date the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) says the elections must now be held since the Caribbean Court of Justice validated last December’s no-confidence motion. That political party is maintaining that it would not give its support for a two-thirds parliamentary extension of the life of the government.

Noting that the parliamentary recess lasts from August 10 to October 10, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, said the naming of an election date this month depends on the political situation. “Whether in fact the President will do anything with respect to the Parliament will be determined by the issues which arise politically and which will be addressed at the appropriate time,” he said.

Indications are that the Guyanese leader will be seeking an update from the Commission and the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield on the status of house-to-house registration and preparations for general and regional elections.

GECOM had already stated at the start of house-to-house registration that preparations for an early poll had also begun.

It is unclear whether the pro-coalition election commissioners will back down from their original position that the registration exercise is absolutely necessary for a credible voters list and free, fair and transparent elections or they will agree to reactivate and scour the existing list of registrants through an intensive claims and objections period.

After their first meeting with recently-appointed GECOM Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, the pro-coalition trio did not commit itself to clinging to house-to-house registration as the only means of cleaning up the voters list. “The issue of sanitisation of the list is not a matter in question. At the moment, whenever the issues reach the table, the commissioners will look at all the factors at that point in time and determine what is the best way forward. At the moment, that matter is in progress, being executed, and at the time when we are faced with making a decision, all the factors will be taken into consideration at that time…The Chairman will make a determination of that,” elections commissioner Vincent Alexander has said.

Earlier Wednesday, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon gave no immediate indication of whether he envisaged an appeal if the High Court next week rules that the house-to-house registration exercise will collide with the holding of elections by September 18, 2019 timeframe within which Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire has already said elections should be held.

Attorney General Basil Williams said if the PPP does not support an extension of the life of the government, the President would remain in office until general and regional elections are held.

President Granger has acknowledged, in keeping with the Caribbean Court of Justice’s decision that validated the no-confidence motion, that his administration is in “caretaker” mode and would not, among other things, pass a National Budget for next year.

Since coming to office in May, 2015, the Granger-led administration has tabled and passed the next year’s national budget late in the last quarter of the preceding year.

Harmon on Wednesday said the interim status of the government has also seen a cut in non-essential overseas travel by the President ministers and no signing of new deals that would bind the administration after the next general elections.

Demerara Waves


Avanza registro de votantes en Guyana pese a incidentes negativos

La Comisión de Elecciones de Guyana (Gecom), registra hoy más de 150 mil votantes con miras a las presidenciales, mientras continúa su proceso actual de Registro de Casa en Casa.

La Oficial de Relaciones Públicas de Gecom, Yolanda Ward, indicó que el proceso se está acelerando a pesar de los problemas enfrentados.

Varios trabajadores que realizan el censo han sido atacados verbalmente, incluso un hombre vestido de negro, y en este momento preso, robó el material a uno de ellos, explicó.

Sin embargo, esos incidentes no impedirán que Gecom lleve a cabo su mandato y continuará trabajando estrechamente con la Fuerza de Policía de Guyana para detener a cualquiera que tenga la intención de interrumpir el procedimiento, declaró Ward.

Gecom comenzó su registro de casa en casa el sábado 20 de julio pasado con el objetivo de crear una nueva Base de Datos del Registro Nacional de Registrantes.

El Gobierno de Guyana apoya este Registro de Casa en Casa en curso y aconseja que todos los guyaneses que cumplan con los requisitos participen en el proceso.

En junio pasado, el presidente, David Granger, afirmó que su gobierno respetará el proceso legal y la decisión del Tribunal de Justicia del Caribe ante la moción de no confianza que obliga a nuevas elecciones.

Recordó que en diciembre de 2018, el Parlamento aprobó una moción de censura contra él, por lo que su Gobierno debía abandonar el poder y convocar a elecciones en un plazo de 90 días.

La moción fue presentada por Bharrat Jagdeo, líder del opositor Partido Progresista del Pueblo, por el supuesto derroche de recursos petroleros de la nación.

‘No creíamos que el voto de no confianza fuera válido, y tampoco creíamos que reflejara la voluntad del Parlamento o el pueblo de Guyana. Sin embargo, aceptaremos y acataremos la decisión del Tribunal’, subrayó Granger.

Es esencial la celebración de elecciones justas, libres y creíbles y en ese sentido propuso actualizar la lista de votantes la cual pudiera contener hasta 200 mil entradas incorrectas, recalcó.

Explicó que la Constitución otorga a todos los ciudadanos mayores de 18 años el derecho a votar por lo que urge el registro para tener una elección lo antes posible.

‘Nos dirigiremos a las urnas y habrá una elección crucial para nuestros ciudadanos. Una elección para decidir el futuro de nuestro país y, lo más importante, el futuro con respecto a los empleos, los niveles de vida y la educación para nuestros hijos’, expresó.

Pidió a todos los guyaneses a mantener la calma al tiempo que les aseguró que el Gobierno cumplirá con la Constitución de la República Cooperativa de Guyana.

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