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Granger confirms early general elections; AFC expels Charrandas Persaud after he voted with PPP on no-confidence motion

AFC DEFECTOR: Charrandass Persaud.

President David Granger Saturday morning indicated that his administration would abide by the stipulations, such as early general elections, stemming from the no-confidence motion that the opposition won.

“We will do everything necessary to facilitate the smooth functioning of General and Regional Elections bearing in mind the need for normal governmental functions to continue uninterrupted,” President Granger was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency.

The President’s announcement effectively rules out the likelihood of a political accommodation with the opposition People’s Progressive Party for elections to be pushed back beyond 90 days.

Elections were due to be held the latest by August, but with the passage of the no-confidence motion elections would have to be held by March, 2019.

Meanwhile, the Alliance For Change announced the immediate expulsion of backbencher Charandass Persaud who Friday night broke ranks with the government side and voted with the 32 People’s Progressive Party  parliamentarians to pass the Jagdeo-sponsored motion. The AFC said he would be recalled and replaced by someone else.

The AFC expressed shock and betrayal at Persaud’s move, coming on the heels of his unwavering support for the just passed 2019 National Budget.

“The party regrets the dissenting vote of Mr. Persaud and wishes to assure all Guyanese that at no time did the party have any indication whatsoever, either from Mr. Persaud or otherwise, that he would vote in any way other than firmly against the motion.

The AFC acknowledges that this unforeseen development would have come as a shock to many Guyanese in Guyana and the Diaspora and that persons would be distraught and hurt by it,” the AFC said.

The President also said he has agreed to meet with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo at his request.

The President said too that he is anxious to engage Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo on any concerns he may have and assures the Guyanese people “that this is not a crisis which could dissolve into any type of confrontation.”

“Mr. Jagdeo contacted the Minister of State and a meeting will be arranged as early as possible so that his concerns can be addressed,” the Head of State added.

The Head of State made it clear that his government would embark on discussions with its coalition partners the Alliance For Change (AFC) and those who are part of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana states, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the elections.”

Moreover, the President said, “This is a constitutional process which can have favourable outcomes for the nation… There is no cause for alarm and there are no grounds for any form of disorder and we will continue to work to provide a good government and deliver public services to the people and to work even more closely with the opposition”.

President Granger disclosed too that he met with some ministers Saturday morning, who would henceforth be engaging the AFC ministers.