GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 11, 2019 (CMC) – Civil Society Forum (CSF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Guyana, called on President David Granger, today, to name a date for fresh regional and general elections, as the main opposition intensified its call for voters to be allowed to elect a new government, following the collapse of the coalition government, last December.
CSF, which includes religious, human rights, private sector organisations, and at least one trade union, said in a statement, that the failure, by President Granger, not to announce a date for the election “has increased the probability that the government will be accused of being illegal, after March 21”.
On December 21, last year, Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the Peoples’ Progressive Party-Civic (PPP-C) Bharrat Jagdeo, successfully moved a motion of no confidence in the three-and-a-half-year-old government, after receiving the support of Charrandas Persaud, a government backbencher in the 65-member National Assembly.
The government had previously enjoyed a one-seat majority, and has since appealed the ruling of a High Court that the motion was valid and its refusal to issue a conservatory order, halting the 90-day constitutional enforcement for elections to be held.
In its statement, the CSF said it was prepared to offer its services to the various stakeholders “to ensure the success of their efforts”.
It is also urging Granger and Jagdeo “to recognize their respective responsibilities to honour the Constitution and uphold the law, and to hold themselves accountable for finding a solution to this growing crisis, which endangers our democracy”.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo has warned, “We are not going to accept any delay in the elections.”
In a powerful speech — interspersed with bouts of loud applause — yesterday at Babu Jaan, the annual pilgrimage to the memorial burial site of the legendary founder of the PPP-C, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, in Port Mourant, Berbice, Jagdeo predicted a “massive defeat” for the government in the soon-expected elections.
He told supporters that a new PPP-C administration would move to investigate, and if warranted, arrest and jail ministers on corruption charges, adding “Many of them will be in jail, because of actual corruption — not rumours of corruption.”