Indisputably, the APNU/AFC is not interested in abiding by the CCJ’s rulings, and hence the Constitution of our land. There is abundant evidence to support this, despite Granger’s empty rhetoric about abiding by the supreme law of the land and the CCJ’s rulings. His dilly-dallying with the GECOM Chairman’s appointment bears testimony to his deceitfulness.
Granger had said in a statement published on June 18, 2019 that, “We will accept and abide by the Court’s decision…I assure you that the Government will abide by the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana”. Is he serious about these utterings? The CCJ’s rulings made it clear that General and Regional Elections must be held within 3 months of the passing of the no-confidence motion, and this ruling was passed down of June 18, 2019.
In other words, the Coalition gained nearly 6 months’ extra time, since the motion was successfully passed on December 21, 2019. Albeit, the masses in Guyana are adamant that the Elections should now be called within 3 months from June 18, 2019, in abiding with the CCJ’s ruling and the Constitution.
Granger cannot say that he will abide by these, and then throw the ball in GECOM’s court whilst doing his trickery with the GECOM Chairman’s appointment. GECOM is a creature of the Constitution, and must abide by it. The Article says that General Elections must be called within 3 months, and GECOM and Granger must facilitate that. If Granger is now saying that the List is bloated by 200,000 names, and that persons who have reached the age of 18 would be disenfranchised, then it is GECOM’s duty to act impartially and rebut these spurious claims.
Further, GECOM is aware that the claims and objections period would take care of certain defects, and that those attaining 18 are automatically placed on the list. Moreover, the cycles of continuous registration, which came to an end in July 2018, just 4 months before the No-Confidence Motion (NCM), had captured all persons who would be 14 years and over by October 2018, so it is nonsensical for Granger to say that those persons now reaching 18 years would be disenfranchised! These will be eligible to vote in 2021!
It is important to note that the continuous cycle of registration would have taken care of Commonwealth citizens up to July 2018 as well, and those becoming eligible after that date can register via a claims and objections period.
It must be emphasised that continuous registration fulfills two (2) primary objectives: (i) to ensure that ALL eligible persons are afforded UNLIMITED opportunities to become registered on the National Register of Registrants; and(ii) ensuring that GECOM is in a PERPETUAL state of preparedness, which would enable it to respond to calls for elections in a timely manner, thus guaranteeing eligible persons their constitutional right to be registered and to vote. I am sure Granger must be aware of this.
It is reasonably logical to assume that since the NCM was in December, and Elections should have been held in March, had it not been for the delaying tactics of the Coalition, GECOM, being aware that the LIST would expire in April, should have done another cycle of continuous registration in view of the impending elections, in ensuring that it is in a state of preparedness; unless GECOM had no doubt that the LIST can be amended to capture all eligible voters and afford all these eligible voters an opportunity to vote.
It can now be concluded without any contradiction that GECOM has no doubt that the List is valid, and can be used should an early election be called. This constitutional body cannot, and should not, be allowed to flout the rulings of the CCJ and Article 106. The Constitution of Guyana now makes the call for elections, and GECOM must respond in a timely manner, since it had to be in a perpetual state of preparedness. Now is not the time for house-to-house registration, our Constitution must be obeyed NOW!
The GECOM Chairman’s appointment is another dilemma which the Coalition will capitalise on to delay elections, but again it must be in accordance with our constitutional stipulation of 3 months, and again Granger must act in good faith. This to-and-fro action by the Caretaker Government and GECOM must come to an end NOW, and it is time for the ABC countries to intervene to ensure that our Constitution is not flouted by the APNU/AFC, and that the upcoming elections are free and fair.