Home Letters Govt has not demonstrated any seriousness about holding elections
I am responding to this view that is emanating from the President and those on his bandwagon that he remains President until the next President is sworn in. Is President Granger seeking to preach that he will be President for life? Because he and his Government have not demonstrated any seriousness as it relates to the holding of elections.
Article 106 (6) and (7) says the following: a) the President and Cabinet shall resign upon the successful passage of a no-confidence vote. Their final day on the job is 90 days or three months after, in this case, March 21, 2019, since the no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2018. b) They remain in office purely for the purpose of holding an election. Article 106 (7) envisages an election in three months at which time the presidency shall be handed over to the newly-elected President. To be defeated by a no-confidence vote and not hold elections within the constitutionally mandated timeframe of three months and in bravado style declare to people of Guyana “I remain the President until the new President is sworn in” is pure nonsense. The President’s henchmen are perfectly correct when they say that the “President should remain in office until the next President is sworn in.” However, what they omit that subject to Article 106 (7) of the Constitution and in keeping with the ruling of the Chief Justice, elections had to be held before March 21, 2019, and a new President sworn in by that date or shortly thereafter. Their perverse logic seems to suggest that Granger can ignore the Constitution of Guyana, have or not have the election at his will and the people of Guyana must keep him as President. For example, the President can or not hold the election in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and we must accept him as President. We reject this.
Editor, this Guyanese will publicly declare for the President and his merry band that I will not sit idly by and allow this abuse of power and I encourage all decent, sane, right thinking and independent Guyanese to reject this nonsense and to see this action of the President as a misuse of the trust that was given to him by the people of Guyana in May 2015. President Granger and his Government lost their mandate on December 21, 2018. Their only reason for continuing in office was to facilitate the holding of elections and the maintenance of good order.
Bill Number 14 of 2000 Explanatory Memorandum
Clause 5 alters Article 106 to provide for the resignation of the Cabinet and the President following the defeat of the Government in the National Assembly on the vote of confidence. Although defeated, the Government shall remain in office for the purpose of holding an election.
They have done everything to frustrate the holding of elections. We don’t have a date and we are six days away from the constitutionally mandated deadline.
The only business that this President and his Ministers should be engaged in, is ensuring elections are held, it’s not business as usual. Any attempt to stay in power beyond March 21 can be deemed a reckless and irresponsible action by this Government. This claim that the doctrine of necessity kicks in can be deemed an absurdity and to date the most visible act of desperation. The Constitution never contemplated a defeated Government remaining in office beyond ninety days without a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly. That is to say, the opposition defeated you facilitating an extension beyond ninety days, because of some reasonable and rational ground. No such grounds exist; it is clear for all to see the intention of the APNU/AFC coalition Government was not to have elections by March 21. So whether it was the National Assembly, the courts or GECOM, they sought a refugee. GECOM with its unilaterally appointed Chairman and the three Government-sponsored commissioners have provided that much-needed smoke screen. We are not allowing this asinine behaviour from GECOM. For the purpose of all Guyanese, the Constitution envisages a GECOM on any of the three eventualities: a) a no-confidence vote b) the President at any time during the five-year term proclaiming a dissolution of the National Assembly on calling a national election and c) the end of the five-year cycle of the National Assembly. On every occasion, elections are to be held within three months. Stop the charade, the “mamaguying” and the bravado behaviour, call elections now. On March 22 you are illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional; you will no longer be the President, Mr Granger.
Editor, while at it may I express my utter disgust at the misuse of State resources that funds the DPI which has now become the propaganda and political attack arm of this coalition Government. Further erosion of governmental institutions and a harsh return to party paramountcy is evident.
Bishop Juan A Edghill