GAWU calls on GECOM to ensure free and fair elections

Following the passage of the motion of no-confidence against the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) said the motion’s successful passage was a manifestation of “our nation’s cherished democratic culture and values.”
The Union said it has been closely following the pronouncements by President David Granger among other Government officials committing to adhering to the provisions outlined in the Constitution of Guyana.
Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution states, respectively: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.” And “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”
After the AFC’s Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) MP, Charrandas Persaud delivered the “yes” vote that brought the coalition Government to its knees on Friday last, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said Government would abide by the law. However, the day after former AFC Chairman Attorney Nigel Hughes flouted the idea that 34 votes was needed by the Opposition for the successful passage of the motion the Government formed a subcommittee of Cabinet to explore its options. The Government remains tightlipped as to what its next move is. However, Guyana Times was told that the sub-committee, headed by Attorney General Basil Williams, have submitted its recommendation to Government.
On Friday, GAWU said “the GAWU is aware that the democracy we rightly take pride in was not given freely but won, by among others, the struggles of the Guyanese working-class. The possible attempts as we see now playing out to undermine our democratic credentials cannot be seen in a positive light. The GAWU urges that the verdict of the motion be accepted, and the resultant measures be put in place.”
“Our Union also, at this time, looks to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to put in place adequate systems to safeguard and ensure that the Official List of Electors (OLE) is properly reflective, that the Guyanese people’s franchise is properly recorded, and that our elections are deemed free and fair and also free from fear. Indeed, this undoubtedly is the wish of Guyanese people at this time,” it added.

The pronouncements were made at the Union’s yearend press conference at its High Street, Kingston Georgetown office.
Additionally, as another General and Regional Elections looms, GAWU said it would be monitoring what the other political parties are saying and has to offer to aid in rebuilding the sugar industry.
“We are meeting at the Union’s General Councils and we have this matter to discuss how we shall treat at it whether we are meeting with the different political parties that are contesting the elections to hear their agenda and programme to deal with the sugar industry. We have three operational factories and there is still hope that three of the shuttered industries (Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore) will operate once again under private arrangements and we are hoping to hear their views on that,” GAWU President Komal Chand said.
The Union said it is hopeful that the sugar industry would be given the requisite attention and focus that it deserves. It is contemplating meeting with the political parties to hear their proposals and relate that to its current and former members so as to ensure that they make an informed decision when they head to the polls next year.