No intention of going beyond GECOM’s timeline for elections – Pres. Granger

─ “I hope that this evening, I will be able to make a public announcement to the nation on the dates”

─ will return to Parliament for funds for GECOM if needs be

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

His Excellency, President David Granger has again assured the nation that he has no intention of going beyond the timeline for elections as put forward by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The Head of State said that should the elections body require further funding; the government will have to return to Parliament.

Speaking on the sidelines of the accreditation of the High Commissioner of the Kingdom Lesotho to Guyana, the Head of State told journalists that he will make the much-anticipated announcement this evening. In that vein, he expects GECOM to be prepared.

“I hope that this evening, I will be able to make a public announcement to the nation on the dates. We expect that the meeting of the commission yesterday that GECOM would have hammered out a schedule. The Cabinet has not been privy to the schedule, so there are certain statutory requirements. It is my expectation, that in sending me that date [February 2020], they would have taken into consideration all of the legal procedural requirements that have to be met.”

Last week, GECOM’s Chairman (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh, informed the Head of State through a letter, that the commission would be in a position to hold elections by the end of February of next year.

His Excellency, President David Granger addressing the media earlier today.

President Granger said today that he would have to meet the chairman to ascertain what her timelines are.

“It is a certainty. We are not going to go beyond the time that she has laid down. I would like to return to Parliament, to ensure that she has all the resources that commission needs and that she complies with the requirements of the law including that there are claims and objections,” he told the press.

He reiterated that the administration places total reliance on the commission, which has its own constitutional responsibility of preparing for the elections.

“So, there’s a reasonable expectation on our part that these expectations will be complied with. I need to meet her to find out whether there are any difficulties and whether she has any other needs to ensure that her own timeline of February could be met.”

President Granger reminded that the elections body had received over $8Billion between November of 2018 and April of this year. The Head of State said he would expect that those monies would be used to fulfil the needs of the commission at this time. While he does not expect the need for more money by the commission, if during the meeting the matter is raised, then the government will have to return to Parliament for more funds.

It is for that reason that Parliament has not been dissolved, he explained. The dissolution of Parliament will occur when the president is satisfied that the entire process, as required by the commission, can move forward without obstruction.

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