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No election date, no meeting with Granger – Jagdeo

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday ruled out giving into President David Granger’s request to meet next Wednesday to discuss election-related matters.

Jagdeo said unless an election date is put on the table, he would not meet with the President and he has since abandoned his plans to write to the Guyanese leader setting out some conditions and suggesting additional agenda items. “Unless there is a time for election on the agenda, there will be no meeting,” he said.

“There is no merit to meet on the two issues that he has asked me to meet on because they are provided for in the Constitution of Guyana,” said Jagdeo who is also General Secretary of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

“I do have a choice. we will not at this stage vote to extend the life of this government,” he said.

He also railed against the President for dispatching two separate letters to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), James Patterson, concerning preparations for general elections.

“He has to say why he issued two (letters) to the Chairman of GECOM which contradict each other,” said Jagdeo as he repeatedly accused the Guyanese leader of engaging in “fraudulent behaviour”. He said the election commissioners received one letter.

The Opposition Leader suggested that the President came under internal political pressure after the first letter had been dispatched and he sent a second letter. “If there are two letters, which is the one that we will use?” he asked.

At the heart of Jagdeo’s grouse is whether the second letter now opens the door for further delaying tactics on the date for holding general elections.

Jagdeo, the PPP and its election commissioners have maintained that the governing coalition, its elections commissioners and GECOM are delaying the holding of elections within 90 days triggered by a no-confidence motion passed on December 21.

If the deadline for holding general elections is not extended by a two-thirds majority of the 65-seat National Assembly, some experts say the country would face a major constitutional crisis.