Guyana’s main Opposition People’s Progressive Party Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday left the door open for extending the three-month deadline by which general elections should be held.
Jagdeo told a news conference that “only if I see good faith measures” on the government’s part would he lend his party’s support to the ruling coalition for a two-thirds parliamentary approval of the extension of the three-month deadline that expires on March 20, 2019.
Guyana’s constitution provides for elections to be held three months of the National Assembly’s passage of the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018.
Pressed on what conditions would the PPP be inclined to in order to back an extension, Jagdeo said President David Granger has to announce that preparations for general elections would start and that he would advise the governing coalition’s three elections commissioners to use GECOM’S July deadline and compress procurement and training to meet the March 20 deadline or at most two weeks later of that date.
Earlier, in the press conference Jagdeo stated “at this point in time, it’s a categorical ‘no’” to extending the three-month period because the President took 18 days before meeting with the Opposition Leader after the no-confidence motion was passed.
“They are doing absolutely nothing to show good faith,” Jagdeo said. “In fact, they are encouraging the breach of our constitution,” he said.
The High Court last week ruled that immediately after the no-confidence motion was passed, the President and Cabinet should have resigned and remained in office until after elections are held within three months.
On whether he would be willing to meet with President Granger again, Jagdeo questioned the value of doing so now. “The president has no intention of meeting and at this point in time I have no intention of meeting,” he said.
GECOM’s administration has presented a number of optional timelines by which elections can be held.