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Bar association bashes Guyana gov’t over failure to call elections

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 3:43 PM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Bar Association of Guyana has condemned what it called the failure by the government to hold General and Regional Elections within the period mandated by the Constitution following the passage of a no-confidence motion.

In a statement on Friday, the association said the Government is now operating outside the rule of law.

“By failing to abide by the clear and unambiguous terms of the Constitution, the Government of Guyana has abdicated its responsibility, violated the Constitution, is operating outside of the rule of law and in breach of internationally recognised standards of democracy”.

The association said it notes that the Caribbean Court of Justice, in its judgment in the consolidated no confidence cases in July, said that the meaning of the constitutional provisions requiring elections is clear and it placed the responsibility of honouring those provisions on the constitutional actors in Guyana.

It said while it notes that the court did not order elections, it was clear that it expressed its expectation that constitutional responsibilities would have been exercised with integrity in keeping with the Constitution.

“The constitutional duty and responsibility of the President was to fix a date for elections within the three-month period set out in the Constitution in the absence of a Parliamentary extension of that period, which extension the Bar Council notes was not sought and or obtained before the period expired”, the Association said.

President David Granger has said that it is the Guyana Elections Commission that has to indicate its readiness to host elections, adding that he has followed the Constitution and has not breached it.

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