Harmon says Opposition stands ready to work with Gov’t on constitutional, electoral reform
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on Friday pledged the full support of the APNU+AFC Coalition to work with the People’s Progressive Party Government in achieving constitutional and electoral reform.
During his presentation in the ongoing budget debates, Harmon said constitutional reform must be treated a top priority for politicians on both sides of the House.
But equally important he said is the need for reform of the country’s electoral laws and consequently the elections management body – the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
“While that [electoral reform] can take some time, we can examine a bipartisan Bill that seeks to amend aspects of the electoral law,” the Opposition Leader said.
Harmon said those reforms must take into considerations rulings the ruling of local and regional courts during the recently protracted electoral process in Guyana and the circumstances that contributed to the declaration of the results being delayed by five months.
“We on this side of the House considers it so important that we will consult with civil society and bring a Motion on the floor to that effect,” he added.
Harmon said after the current election petitions which challenge the March 02, 2020 elections are heard and determined, the Coalition will not be interested in the holding of any new elections with the same electoral laws in place.
“It is a travesty; we can’t go back. We are prepared on this side of the House to support an upward review of allocations to facilitate these recommendations,” he added.
Harmon insisted that constitutional reform and amendments to the electoral laws were urgent matters to be addressed.
One day after the results of the election were declared and Dr Irfaan Ali was sworn in as President, international elections observer group, the Carter Center called on political leaders to work together to ensure that fundamental electoral and constitutional reforms are completed as an urgent priority.
This the Carter Center noted should be done well before the next election.
The Center also called for key leaders in Guyana to reach across the divide and work to ensure that fundamental electoral and constitutional reforms are completed as an urgent priority.
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon delivers his presentation in the National Assembly during the 2020 budget debate [Photo: DPI/September 18, 2020]