Having failed to get the Opposition parties to engage him in dialogue during the prorogation of parliament, President Donald Ramotar on Saturday morning announced that it is time for Guyanese to head back to the polls. However, no date has been announced.
At a press conference from the Dining Room of State House, Mr. Ramotar said he will announce a date for the elections early in the New Year. That announcement could come in his New Year’s Address to the Nation or just after. He said it is very likely that he will make the announcement before Mashramani celebrations in February.
Mr. Ramotar told journalists in the nationally televised press conference that he was faced with two choices, lift the suspension of parliament or call early elections. He said he decided to go with the elections because the Opposition is still intent to move its no confidence motion against his government which will force elections anyway.
According to the President, the recent response from Mr. Granger that there will be no dialogue with the government while the parliament remains suspended, sealed the deal on his decision to move towards national elections.
He now intends to consult with the Guyana Elections Commission about its readiness and he will also inform the international community of the early elections.
Both of the Parliamentary Opposition parties have indicated that they are ready for national elections. The President’s announcement came on the same day that the Alliance For Change is hosting its Delegates Congress. At that congress the AFC Leaders declared that they want the President to “bring it on” because the party is “very ready” for elections.
APNU Leader David Granger recently declared that his party has always been in election campaign mode because of its hopes for local government elections.
President Ramotar prorogued the Parliament of Guyana in early November to block the no confidence motion that was being moved by the AFC against his government. With the AFC whipping up the support of APNU and the two parties holding the majority, it became clear that the motion would have been passed.
President Ramotar is expected to lead the People’s Progressive Party into the next elections and he says he is very confident that he will walk away with a clear majority in the National Assembly.
Guyana last hosted General and Regional Elections in 2011.
Filed: 6th December, 2014