“Elections cannot be credible without a credible list” – Pres. Granger
— President and Opposition team meet, working towards a consensual outcome
DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 9, 2019
“Elections cannot be credible without a credible list,” declared His Excellency, President David Granger following a meeting with Opposition Leader, the Honourable Bharrat Jagdeo.
The Head of State and senior officials met with the Parliamentary Opposition representatives at the Ministry of the Presidency this afternoon.
The Head of State indicated that reference was made to his meeting with the GECOM Chairman, (retd) Justice Claudette Singh and commissioners.
The president stated that while the government and the opposition are working towards a consensual outcome, “we have not altered our positions.”
“The government’s position has not changed. We are pursuing a course that can guarantee a credible list that can be the basis of credible elections and the opposition’s position has not changed. We are working towards a common ground so that the Guyanese people can be assured that we will have credible elections, in the shortest possible time.”
Weighing in, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon said that there was no agreement on any possible elections’ date. Recommendations from both sides will be examined and placed before the commission, which, “will have to make a decision with respect to the date.”
DG Harmon reiterated that “the President will not be naming a date that will be impractical for GECOM to accomplish…. All that can be done is for us to help the commission arrive at a position, which given the resources and their availability and their own institutional arrangements within the commission, will determine how best and how early, they can provide the information with respect to a date for the elections. The president made it clear that he would like to see early elections.”
The senior functionary made it clear that the government will not superimpose any coercive arrangements on the commission that they cannot meet. DG Harmon added that another meeting is scheduled where the issues raised will be examined in greater detail, after the expected August 14 High Court ruling.
President Granger reiterated the accepted position that GECOM is central to this process, which is entirely in its hands.
“I will continue to abide by the Constitution and pay attention to what the Chairman of the GECOM will advise me to do. We are aware of the dates. We are aware of the deadlines mentioned in the media but what we are not aware of is the decision of the commission. Everything hangs on what we are told by the chairman, speaking on behalf of the commission.”
In closing, the president described the meeting as important since it helped to clarify issues that still exist between the two sides.