Govt continues to trample on Constitution, court ruling – Opposition Leader

first_imgCrucial questions regarding when a date for elections will be announced were acknowledged by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday, who has raised concerns yet again about Government’s apparent bid to delay the polls.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo argued that if it was up to Government to decide on the date for elections, the country would not head to the polls this year. He surmised that the caretaker administration is “mortally afraid” to head to the polls, after the last local government elections would have witnessed the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) being dealt with a stunning loss by a huge margin.“When would we have elections? If we leave it to APNU, we would not have elections till next year, and even then, they may not want elections. They are mortally afraid elections. You see a ghastly pale coming over them when you mention elections,” Jagdeo said during his press conference.For this, Jagdeo was of the opinion that the delaying tactics will continue to interrupt the hosting of General and Regional Elections. Consequently, he encouraged Guyanese to evaluate the Government on the basis of their adherence to the Constitution.“They will do whatever it takes to delay the elections with the hope that they can go out in the so-called outreach using taxpayers’ money…to polarise our country once again, hoping that somehow, they will change the outcome or their electoral fortunes on the ground. In doing so, they’re trampling on the Constitution and a court ruling,” the Opposition Leader insisted.“Guyanese must assess the APNU based on how they relate to that document, the Constitution. If I can’t trust you to obey the law, to respect the Constitution, how can I trust you to fulfil any of your promises?” he further questioned.He was referring to the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice on June 18, 2019, which stated that Cabinet must resign and call elections in keeping with constitutional deadline, that is, three months. Since this deadline had already elapsed from the passage of the No-Confidence Motion on December 21, the countdown would commence on the date of the ruling, putting the deadline on September 18 of this year.In light of this decision, the international community had urged the country’s political players to act swiftly and in compliance with the Constitution, as ordered by the Court.In a joint statement, members of the diplomatic community in Guyana, including the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, stated that it is important for the rule of law that all invoked actors abide by the CCJ’s ruling and the relevant provisions of the Constitution. The diplomats furthered urged that this adherence be done expeditiously.As such, the Opposition Leader added that the caretaker administration is becoming even more isolated from the international community, owing to the election delay and other connected matters.“They are becoming more isolated. I know from the international community cause I have been meeting with [them]. They’re saying: the Constitution and you must have elections. Guyanese are saying the same thing. We have the President continuing with his excuse, saying he’s waiting on GECOM,” Jagdeo claimed.According to him, the administration is now convincing stakeholders to garner votes as the deadline for elections draws nearer. Mention was made to President David Granger’s meeting with miners, a much-needed call which was never pursued prior.“You go back and check the statements from the miners. For several years, he tried to secure a meeting with them and he snubbed them, put in place some of the worst policies that have devastated the mining sector and today, he’s meeting with them because we’re in elections season,” the Opposition Leader cautioned.He reminded of heavy taxes imposed on the manufacturing sector and exports, which has significantly stymied trading activities and production costs.“His Government has put a tax on exports, VAT (Value Added Tax) on electricity and water – two of the biggest cost for input for manufacturing, and they have put VAT on all the building materials. If they have to build factories and everything else, they now have to spend more. Their entire cost has gone up”.last_img read more