Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire on Wednesday said the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) indicated that elections must be held by September 18 or another date if Parliament grants an extension.
“The Honourable Chief Justice (ag) stated that the consequential orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice indicate that elections be held by September 18, 2019, or such longer period as the National Assembly determines,” according to a statement issued by the Supreme Court of Judicature.
Political commentator, Christopher Ram’s lawyer, Anil Nandlall, said Tuesday that the Chief Justice had said elections must be held by September 18, but he failed to mention that she had also said that there could also be a parliamentary extension.
The CCJ had declined to name a specific elections date, saying that was the constitutional preserve of the President, Opposition Leader, Parliament and to some extent the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo are yet to reach agreement on a new GECOM Chairman.
Jagdeo has repeatedly stated that his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would not be lending support to the government for the required two-thirds parliamentary approval for an extension of the elections timeframe and the life of the caretaker administration.
The Chief Justice confirmed that she rejected Ram’s request for an order to stop the Guyana Elections Commission’s house-to-house registration exercise. Nandlall said the Chief Justice cited a lack of evidence by Ram to back his case that the exercise would result in a shift in the elections deadline.
Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield told the media on Tuesday that the existing voters’ list, which expired on April 30, could be refreshed and subjected to a claims and objections period for use to conduct a free and fair general and regional administrative council elections.