Govt and Opposition agree to expeditious conclusion of matters surrounding Dec. 21 Vote

− Joint Communique issued

− Min. Ally and Gail Teixeira to enquire into the readiness of GECOM

− Parliament remains functional – Pres. Granger

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Government of Guyana and the Parliamentary Opposition have committed to work towards the expeditious conclusion of the matters surrounding the December 21, 2018 vote in the National Assembly, which is currently engaging the attention of the court.

This was disclosed in a joint communique issued by the two sides following the meeting of Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

According to the communique, the two sides met in an atmosphere of cordiality and committed to working together on all matters relating to the protection of Guyana’s sovereignty, regardless of the internal political issues.

Discussions focused on two broad areas as set out in an agenda put forward by President David Granger. These included the Constitutional and Legal situation, which involves the functioning of the National Assembly and Regional and General Elections.

President David Granger, Ministers of Government and members of the Opposition during the meeting at the Ministry of the Presidency

President indicated that the Government and the Opposition, by agreement in the National Assembly, can enlarge the time for the hosting of the elections beyond the 90 days contemplated by Article 106 (7) of the Constitution.

The Opposition Leader called for the National Assembly to only meet to deal with issues connected with the provision of essential services by the State and all matters related to the preparation of General and Regional elections.

President Granger stated that it is lawful for the Government to engage the Court, to bring clarity to the provisions of Article 106 (6) and 106 (7) of the Constitution. Pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings, Parliament, he said, remains functional.

The Head of State emphasised that the Government is legal and that it must govern without any limitations on its authority. He further stated that there is no provision in the Constitution which imposes a limitation on the Government to perform its lawful functions.

The parties then identified Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally and Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira to enquire into the readiness of GECOM.

Both parties expressed their willingness to meet to ensure the management of the various issues facing the nation.

The Government’s side included President Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC., Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally.

The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, was accompanied by Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira and Members of Parliament, Anil Nandlall, Irfaan Ali, Bishop Juan Edghill, Dr. Frank Anthony, Pauline Sukhai and Odinga Lumumba.

President Granger, in an address immediately following Wednesday’s meeting, said the two sides will examine the hosting of the elections within the administrative capabilities of GECOM and deemed the meeting “fruitful.”

“I would say in conclusion, that we have had a successful engagement, both the leader of the Opposition and the President are concerned about the situation. We would like to assure the public of Guyana that we are working to a solution which they will be satisfied with, the public interest is our paramount concern.”

The president’s entire statement can be read here:

The joint communique can also be viewed here:

Stacy Carmichael

Image: Ministry of the Presidency