Fate of Parliament rests with GECOM’s readiness – Harmon

Fate of Parliament rests with GECOM’s readiness – Harmon

Aug 08, 2019, News, Kaieteur News, https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...ms-readiness-harmon/

President David Granger’s decision to declare Parliament dissolved hinges on the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to conduct free, fair and credible elections, according to the Ministry of the Presidency’s Director-General, Joseph Harmon.

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Ministry of the Presidency’s Director General, Joseph Harmon.

On July 20, 2019, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, had noted a key aspect of the Orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) following its ruling on the No Confidence Motion of December 21, 2018. And from that, he stressed that the caveat of Article 106 becomes immediately engaged following the passage of the motion.

In the letter, Jagdeo requested three things – the resignation of Cabinet, elections by September 2018, and the dissolution of the National Assembly. The Government has indicated that Cabinet will not resign until the new Government takes over, following the election. But the other two requests are tied together, according to Harmon.

During the post-Cabinet press brief yesterday, he said “The question of the dissolving of Parliament is a matter which rests with the President.

The President’s dissolution of Parliament has to; of course, do with advice which he receives from the elections commission about their readiness to conduct elections”.

GECOM is not yet ready for elections. The Official List of Electors (OLE) has expired. And without a credible list to conduct elections, the Secretariat has embarked on House-to-House Registration, a process which, according to the work plan, will go well into 2020.

The Opposition has suggested a brief period of claims and objections to cleanse the current list, instead. They contend that that is the only process which could see elections being held by September 18. Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, said that that list can be cleansed.

In its pursuit of that, the Opposition has mounted a challenge to House-to-House in Court, requesting that a Conservatory Order be granted, halting the process.

But the process has sped ahead, with over 150,000 persons already registered. The Commission had announced that it is ramping up to ensure the process concludes as soon as reasonably possible.

Yesterday, Harmon said once it is made known to President Granger that GECOM is ready, “then he will make his decision with respect to a date and the dissolution of the National Assembly.”

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