Submitted by Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for democracy (CGID)
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) commends President David Granger for his resolute statesmanship and dignified conduct of today’s meeting with opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo. Today Mr. Jagdeo and his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came into full realization that they are not the government of Guyana, and therefore cannot dictate how the country is governed.
The APNU+AFC coalition is the democratically elected government of Guyana, and has a mandate from the people to govern Guyana. The coalition government today demonstrated that it is in full command and that opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and his party must conform themselves to their proper constitutional role as the minority party and political opposition. The government and people of Guyana must continue to dismiss Mr. Jagdeo and his party’s reckless utterances and bullying tactics. They have no place in a civilized society!
The PPP is demanding that President Granger instructs GECOM to prepare for elections immediately. This is nothing but PPP theatrics. The PPP is fully aware that it would be unlawful for the President to do so. GECOM is an autonomous, independent, constitutional agency. Its powers are enshrined in the constitution. The President by law cannot interfere with GECOM or its registration process. Moreover, the President can only lawfully call an election on the advice of the commission. Hence, Mr. Jagdeo’s request is fanciful nonsense which has no basis in law.
There is no impending constitutional crisis. This is a fabrication by Mr. Jagdeo, the PPP and its political partners in the media and civil society. They wish to cause fear, anxiety and instability in our society. We Guyanese must reject their fear-mongering and incitements which border on unlawful, criminal conduct.
There must be no elections in Guyana without house to house registration as prescribed by law. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has commenced the registration process to strident objections from the PPP. The current voters list is padded. It is a few thousand persons less than the general population. This means the list is inaccurate and defective. CGID therefore joins the majority of Guyanese to demand that GECOM proceeds with houses to house registration as prescribed by law to compile a new, lawful and accurate voters’ list on which credible elections can be conducted.
The PPP wants to suppress the votes of thousands of young people who became 18 years old after the last registration exercise and are now eligible to vote. The PPP is aware that these young voters are informed, educated voters who will not support the PPP’s race identity politics. They will not support the PPP’s corrupt practices which caused the international community to sanction the PPP regime, which governed Guyana from 1992 to 2015, as one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
Neither will our youth support the PPP’s alleged overt association with murder for hire gangs, phantom dead squads and the criminal underworld; including drug barons and money laundering suspects who are wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Guyanese people await the outcome of the no confidence cases which are currently before the Guyana Court of Appeal. In the mean time, we must demand that the coalition government resists all efforts by the PPP to suppress the youth vote. Moreover CGID calls on the youth of Guyana to fight all efforts by the PPP to prevent them from voting.