(CMC) In a nationwide radio and television broadcast on Wednesday night, Granger said he had selected the date “after discussions with the chairman of the Elections Commission and with my Cabinet”.
He said that the “earliest possible date for the holding of general and regional election will be on Monday, the second of March 2020”.
So far there has been no reaction from the PPP/C to the announcement of the election date.
The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is the country’s highest court, had in July said that the vote of no confidence which had been passed last December against Granger’s coalition administration was valid and urged all parties to adhere to the provisions of the country’s constitution.
Under the Guyana Constitution, the elections should take place 90 days after the vote of no confidence is passed. The Constitution also makes provision for an extension of the period based only on a two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament. The CCJ made no ruling as to a date when the polls should be held.
The newly appointed chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired justice Claudette Singh said the polls could be held in February next year.
In his broadcast, Granger said that since the passage of the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly on December, 21 last year, his administration has respected the decisions of the Courts and upheld the Constitution.
“We challenged the validity of the no-confidence motion and defended the challenge to the constitutionality of the appointment of the Chairman of the Elections Commission,” Granger said, adding that the legal processes were neither frivolous nor aimed at delaying the consequences of the no-confidence motion.
He said they sought to clarify and interpret the Constitution and to ensure that the elections would be conducted on the basis of a credible list.
“I have complied with the rulings of the Courts, upheld the Constitution of Guyana and respected the National Assembly at all times. I engaged the Elections Commission from February 2019 repeatedly. I insisted that credible elections be held at the earliest possible time. Credible elections are essential to representative democracy.”
Granger said that Singh had written to him last Thursday indicating that GECOM “will be able to deliver credible elections by the end of February 2020”.
He said he met with his Cabinet on the issue twice and the deliberations benefitted from the advice given by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams.
Granger said he also met with the GECOM chairperson earlier on Wednesday when she discussed the statutory timelines for the upcoming general and regional elections.
“Guyanese can now look to the Elections Commission to conduct credible elections within the time frame prescribed. Guyanese, We are on the right path to preserve our precious parliamentary democracy,” Granger said as he spoke of the various constitutional matters that had to be overcome in order to set the date for the election.