Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Guyana votes for new government on March 2, 2020

Published:Thursday | September 26, 2019 | 10:11 AM
President David Granger announcing the date for fresh elections in Guyana - CMC photo

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Guyanese go to the polls on March 2 next year to elect a new government, more than a year after the main opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic had successfully tabled a motion of no confidence in the coalition government of President David Granger.

In a nationwide radio and television broadcast on Wednesday night, Granger said he had selected the date “after discussions with the chairman of the Elections Commission and with my Cabinet.”

He said that the “earliest possible date for the holding of general and regional election will be on Monday, the second of March 2020”.

So far, there has been no reaction from the progressive party to the announcement of the election date.

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) , which is the country’s highest court, had in July said that the vote of no confidence, which was passed last December against Granger’s coalition administration, was valid and urged all parties to adhere to the provisions of the country’s constitution.

Under the Guyana Constitution, the elections should take place 90 days after the vote of no confidence is passed.

The Constitution also makes provision for an extension of the period based only on a two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament. 

The CCJ made no ruling as to a date when the polls should be held.

The newly-appointed chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, retired justice Claudette Singh, said the polls could be held in February next year.

In his broadcast, Granger said that since the passage of the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018, his administration has respected the decisions of the Courts and upheld the Constitution.

“We challenged the validity of the no-confidence motion and defended the challenge to the constitutionality of the appointment of the Chairman of the Elections Commission,” Granger said, adding that the legal processes were neither frivolous nor aimed at delaying the consequences of the no-confidence motion.

“I have complied with the rulings of the courts, upheld the Constitution of Guyana and respected the National Assembly at all times. I engaged the Elections Commission from February 2019 repeatedly. I insisted that credible elections be held at the earliest possible time. Credible elections are essential to representative democracy.”

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