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March 2, 2020 is general election day even without opposition-approved parliamentary extension – Granger

President David Granger on Thursday made it clear that general elections would be held on March 2, 2020, even if the opposition does not approve extending the life of the government.

“If the opposition doesn’t go to Parliament, then we will abide by what I said last night: elections will be held on the 2nd of March. That is as definitive as I can get,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

The opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) Wednesday night reiterated that it would not go back to the National Assembly to extend the life of the government. The Alliance For Change, a governing coalition partner, has expressed worry that if the extension is not granted, the elections process could be opened up to a legal challenge.

On the other hand, experts say the principle of necessity will kick in if the PPP does not go to the National Assembly on October 10 to grant the extension. Some experts say if elections are not held within three months of the passage of a no-confidence motion, it is only the National Assembly that can set a new election date.

While President Granger is yet to dissolve Parliament and name an elections date, it is expected that he will do so after October 10.

Asked whether he would be meeting with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, the President remarked that Jagdeo speaks to the media. “If he wants to speak to me, he can speak to me,” Granger said.

Political Science Professor David Hinds says the upcoming elections campaign will be the longest in Guyana’s post-independence history, opening up the possibility of an exhaustion of ideas or a resort to unconventional tactics.

Political Science Professor, Baytoram Ramharack on Wednesday expressed concern about the failure of the President to definitively state the elections date in his five-minute address to the nation.

In recent days, international and local pressure has been mounting on the Granger administration to name an early election date and bring an end to unconstitutional rule with September 18, 2019 having passed.