By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
“I don’t want to be unkind but we have a president who has lost it…He is divorced from everything under the sun.” So said Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo earlier today.
This was after he learned that President David Granger announced that general and regional elections will be held in November — with an exact date still to be given.
On the heels of this morning’s Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rulings, President Granger delivered an address to the nation.
The incumbent said that his government will accept, and abide by, the Court’s decision.
However, he said, “We cannot proceed on the current list of voters. It is outdated and corrupted. It may hold as many as 200,000 incorrect entries. What’s more, those who have reached the age of 18 years since the last election are not on it.”
The President went on to announce that he views house-to-house registration as imperative.
Granger told the nation, “The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Patterson, has previously informed me that the Commission will be ready to hold elections in November 2019. This will be after the completion of house-to-house registration. I now await a recommendation for a specific date from GECOM and I will then issue a proclamation.”
At his press conference earlier today, Jagdeo responded, “I heard that Granger just said November will be elections, so we now have to live with the government one year after it was declared illegal.”
Jagdeo went on to express his opinion that the President “lives in a bubble.”
“He hangs on with his corrupt cabal in the government at all cost. He is divorced from the reality of constitutional rule. You have to be severely diminished in capacity to read a ruling of the one that you just had from CCJ and then argue as though he has full authority like a normal President,” said Jagdeo.
The Opposition Leader said that the elections are now to be guided by the constitutional provision in 106 (7) which stipulates a three-month timeframe after the passage of a No-Confidence Motion.
“Imagine [if] the PPP was doing this; half of the city would have been on fire. Let’s hope Granger comes back to reality,” said Jagdeo.
Jagdeo noted that CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders, called this morning for a marriage between principle and practicality in the negotiations between representative lawyers for the opposition and the government.
He said that such a marriage would cause the PPP to arrive at a two to three-month timeframe because “principle would have called for elections since yesterday but practicality will dictate two to three months.”
Jagdeo stressed, “The powers that the president have in a normal situation have been amended, and you don’t need a law degree to understand that; just common sense.”