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GDF frowns on report of general elections in June; says training document taken “out of context”

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) says someone misinterpreted a leaked training document that states that the army must be prepared for general and regional elections in June.

“Someone has taken our training documents out of context,” the senior GDF officer told Demerara Waves Online News.

Asked to respond to the timeframe of June 2019 that the GDF document, as quoted by the Newsroom’s article, states, the officer explained that the GDF’s plan is to be in a state of operational readiness as part of a mock exercise. “The force, being prudent, is clearly in preparation for an election,” the officer said.

The Guyana Police Force’s just concluded annual officers’ conference also discussed preparations for general elections.

PNCR General Secretary Amna Ally

Meanwhile, a fundraising letter by People’s National Congress Reform General Secretary Amna Ally also hints at early general elections. “As you know General elections are due to be held within the shortest possible time,” she stated in a letter dated January 9. The letter sought to encourage party faithful to purchase tickets for a take-away lunch and lime billed for early February.

Ally and Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira have made efforts to meet with the Guyana Elections Commission to determine its readiness to hold general elections following the passage of a no-confidence motion on December 21.

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire on Tuesday said she would, before the end of January, rule on three court cases concerning the validity of the no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, the GDF in a statement issued shortly before 8 PM follows:

The Guyana Defence Force is alarmed by a recent News Room publication dated 15th Jan, 2019, titled, “Army preparing for elections in June,” which suggests that the Force is in preparation for National Elections in June.

The Guyana Defence Force wishes to advise the public that we have not authorised any such release or made any such pronouncements. The Guyana Defence Force is aware that we are not the authority for specifying the date and or time by which elections should be held.

Any Force will always have intelligent anticipation of tasks likely to be undertaken. These tasks once identified are issued to the subordinates as “Warning Orders” alerting them to the nature of the probable tasks and should not be misconstrued to mean anything else.

The Guyana Defence Force has always respected the rule of law and due process, and will continue to maintain a professional Force which contributes to the development of the nation.