Reeling under criticism in some quarters, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Wednesday sought to reassure Guyanese that it was not backing down from supporting the no-confidence motion in favour of the holding of Local Government Elections (LGE).
“A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has committed itself to supporting the ‘No Confidence’ motion against the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration. There is no change from that position,” the parliamentary coalition said in a statement.
APNU cleared the air in the wake of mild criticisms from the Alliance For Change (AFC)- the sponsor of the no-confidence motion- that Opposition Leader, David Granger’s ultimatum of next Monday, September 15 to call LGE or face local and international political action was “strange”.
“APNU 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,” added APNU.
Government on Wednesday, however, rejected Granger’s call, saying that it was impossible to hold LGE at this time. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said government and the governing party planned to find out more about what appeared to be a political strategy rather than an ultimatum.
The AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan was at a loss to understand the thinking behind APNU’s strident call for LGE on the eve of the House’s planned debate and eventual passage of the no-confidence motion that will see the government fall and general and regional elections held within 90 days.
APNU Shadow Minister of Local Government, Ronald Bulkan had refused to say whether his coalition preferred LGE or general elections. In the end, he had conceded that his party would welcome LGE if the President gave into its demand. ““I think if we are thinking it through logically and if the President does accede to the demands then we can’t have a problem because then we would have already acted based on our request,”Bulkan has said.
While the holding of LGE and general elections in the same year is not unconstitutional, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) prefers a six-month gap with preference given to the general poll.