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Opposition plans “concerted course of action” including protests for Local Govt Elections

Opposition Leader David Granger

Opposition Leader David Granger on Tuesday said now that President Donald Ramotar has refused to name a date for Local Government Elections (LGE), the opposition would be planning a series of “concerted” actions including protests.

But Granger assured that Guyanese should not be fearful of protests because advocates of the long-overdue polls would not be engaging in any illegal activity.

He said the Central Executive of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the main partner in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)- has met and decided that the other parties in the partnership should be consulted with a view to endorsing the plan.

President Ramotar had formally asked Granger to clarify his position because the latter’s call for LGE and his support for the no-confidence motion appeared to be “ambiguous and contradictory.” APNU has since denied that it was flip-flopping.

Granger said copies of his letter to President Ramotar that contains the now expired ultimatum have been dispatched to other APNU stakeholders including the Working People’s Alliance, National Front Alliance and the Justice For All Party – to engage them in a “concerted course of action.”

“The important thing, though, is to keep pressuring the government to bring about local government elections and that is what we are doing and it is a concerted action by all of the partners,” he said.

Stressing that APNU was focused on the outcome of having LGE for first time since 1994, Granger said “it could include protests.” Asked what would be his message to do those who fear protests, the APNU Chairman said Guyanese should be more fearful about the breach of Guyana’s constitution that states that the polls should be held every three years.

“We are not going to be creating any breach of the law. All our actions will be in accordance with the law but the greater crime is the breach of the constitution,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

In terms of the mobilization of international involvement, the Opposition Leader said the American, British, Canadian and European embassies here have been written to, notifying them of the action that we are taking.  “The main plank in our platform is the breach of the Constitution by President Donald Ramotar and in this hemisphere such a breach of the constitution should not be tolerated,” he said.

Citing the breach of Guyana’s Constitution and the Commonwealth Charter, those Western Nations have repeatedly called on the Guyana government to hold the LGE.

While the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) has repeatedly stated that it is ready for LGE or general election, it has failed to call either of them. A looming no-confidence motion sponsored by the Alliance For Change (AFC) could see the government fall and general election called the latest by January 31, 2015.

APNU also wants the President to issue the Commencement Order to operationalize the Local Government Commission and to initiate a process by which the Local Government (Amendment) Bill could be returned for presidential assent.