In a terse response to the Leader of the Opposition’s demand that a date be announced for local government elections by Monday, September 16, President Donald Ramotar said there is no need for the Leader of the Opposition to remind him about his constitutional duties as Head of State.
Opposition Leader David Granger wrote the President on Tuesday expressing concern over the continued delays in setting a date for local government elections which have not been called in 20 years and he called on the President to be reminded of his Constitutional duties when it comes to democracy and elections.
In his response on Thursday, President Ramotar said the Opposition Leader needs to be assured that “there is no need to remind me about upholding the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana and about the importance of democracy as the track record of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration is one that has always defended, advocated and promoted constitutionality, the rule of law and democracy at every level in our country”.
President Ramotar added that he notes the Opposition Leader’s “recognition of the fact that all matters relating to the fixing of the date for elections both local as well as national, remain within the preserve and prerogative of the Executive. However, I consider your views as important in our nation’s democratic equation”. But he said, “Unfortunately, the position represented in your letter and the positions expressed by your Party after my receipt of your letter are both ambiguous and contradictory”.
The President said the Leader of the Opposition needs to clarify what precisely is the position of the APNU.
The Opposition Leader has threatened that if the President fails to announce a date for Local Government Elections by the Monday deadline, the Opposition intends to take any lawful action to mobilise national and international support in defence of local democracy, the Constitution and the rights of the Guyanese people.
The Opposition and APNU Leader has also said that he wants to state clearly that “our call for His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar to name a date and set the machinery in place for the holding of local government elections is in no way contradictory, but rather complimentary of our stated position regarding local democracy and respect for the Constitution of Guyana”.
The APNU has said that it remains supportive of the AFC’s no confidence motion in the Government of Guyana.
Filed: 11th September, 2014