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Guyana’s main opposition now calls for general election

The Opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is now calling for early general election, just hours after Opposition Leader David Granger insisted that he would not be talking with President Donald Ramotar on any issue unless Parliament is reconvened.

The President suspended or prorogued Parliament on November 10 to prevent the opposition-controlled National Assembly from debating and passing a no-confidence motion.

He then invited Mr Granger to talks aimed at setting the Parliamentary agenda before lifting the Parliamentary suspension. But  up to Friday morning, the Opposition Leader insisted that he would not be holding talks with the government unless Parliament is reconvened.

Hours later, APNU Friday called for Elections to be held now. “APNU vehemently rejects this call and calls on the Government to stop the quest for buying time and hold General Elections now. With the release of the Official list of Electors, Guyana is ready for elections since this is the roll that is needed to hold any General Elections.

Therefore, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) calls on GECOM to establish its readiness for elections. APNU also wish to call on the Government to use the present OLE and let us go to the polls,” said APNU in a statement following a meeting between its Chief Scrutineer, Amna Ally and GECOM officials earlier in the day.

This latest stance follows a decision by the Guyana Elections Commission to begin a new cycle of registration from December 1, a process that see a new list of electors being available by mid-May, 2015.

A senior Elections Commission official, however, told Caribbean News Desk that the continuous registration can be stopped at any time and the voters list prepared and certified if the President calls election during the registration process.

The current voters list is valid until January 31, 2015.

APNU had previously demanded Local Government Elections last held in 1994 but constitutionally due every three years. The President has pledged that the local poll would be held during the second quarter of next year if GECOM says it is ready.

The President has said that he would call general elections if there are no talks with the opposition or such discussions, if held, collapse.