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first_imgIn light of President David Granger’s announcement that March 2, 2020 is the date set for the hosting of General and Regional Elections, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed concerns that he might flip-flop on his words.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoAt a press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo said he will take the President’s word for granted, unless a proclamation is made as mandated by the Constitution of Guyana.“We would not believe this until we see a signed proclamation that this will be the date for elections, because he has flip-flopped so many times. You will never know if this is his final position,” Jagdeo said.He indicated that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) is disappointed with the date that was announced by the President but they will have to work towards this timeframe.“If this is as close as we can get to a definitive date and it is actually so, we are disappointed but we’ll have to work towards that date,” the Opposition Leader expressed.Meanwhile, Jagdeo affirmed that the President’s address to the nation on Wednesday evening misled the media and failed to state a definitive date, despite promises to do so.“Having to announce a clear date for elections was all he was required to do on that night. He left us wondering what he actually said. This was the same President who was saying ‘I’m so anxious to have elections. I want to comply with the Constitution.’ And then last night, he did not actually name a date. I think he caused panic in the entire media community”.UnnecessaryHowever, the Opposition Leader rejects claims made by the Government that the Opposition needs to return to Parliament before it can be dissolved.It is a requirement of the President to issue a proclamation to dissolve Parliament when an election is impending. However, Government is seeking to extend its life by ordering the parliamentary Opposition to return to Parliament.The former Head of State clarified that an extension of Government’s life is unnecessary, since it is not linked to any decisions that should be taken to facilitate the polls. Moreover, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) would have bestowed the coalition administration with a caretaker status, indicating that its main function is to host elections.“He sought to link the date with the return of the parliamentary Opposition to Parliament to extend the life of his Government…Therein, are several fallacies. One, there is no link to the extension of his government, which has been illegal since March 21. He never sought that extension before,” the Opposition Leader noted.He further stated that “Secondly, the extension is wholly unnecessary for him to discharge the caretaker responsibility that had been accorded to him by the CCJ. Because a caretaker Government is only vested with one responsibility, that is, holding elections and having the authority to do all the things necessary with the holding of elections. By virtue of being caretaker, he can proclaim the date and he can dissolve the Parliament”.According to Jagdeo, Government is looking at the extension as a legal footing for activities which are not authorised under a caretaker administration. He had previously shared his position during a recent radio show.“We believe the real reason for all of this … they want they want legal coverage for all the criminal acts of theft and transfer of resources that they have committed because they believe if we extend the life of the Government, there will be no prosecution. There can’t be prosecution,” he signalled.No returnMeanwhile, in this regard, he reaffirmed that there is a zero per cent chance of the PPP returning to the National Assembly.“We have no intention of going to Parliament to extend the life of his government. Absolutely none. No intention whatsoever,” Jagdeo positioned.In his address on Wednesday night, the President blamed the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) again, stating that the extension of a period beyond three months for the holding of an election is related to the body’s readiness to hold the elections.“The Government of Guyana must, as a consequence, return to the National Assembly to request an extension. The National Assembly reconvenes on 10th October 2019. The President is required to both dissolve Parliament as provided for in the Constitution at Article 70 (2) and the ten Regional Democratic Councils as provided for in the Constitution at Article 73 (2),” he was quoted as saying.last_img