Gov’t recognises its “caretaker” role

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 July 2019, 11:20 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana government Saturday acknowledged that it’s a caretaker government, in keeping with the findings of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

At the same time, government said Cabinet would continue to function.

“The Government accepts that it is an ‘interim’ government but emphasises that Cabinet has not stopped functioning and government must continue to provide public services. The Constitution of Guyana at Article 106 (7) states that, notwithstanding its defeat in the National Assembly, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election,” the administration stated.

No mention was made of the constitutional provision that requires the President and Cabinet to resign on the successful passage of a no-confidence motion.

“The Government will comply with the orders issued by the CCJ that, during this ‘interim’ period, it will restrain the exercise of its legal authority.

This means that, while the Government will continue its routine management of the country, it will also address urgent issues that are in the public interest. It is also prepared to consult with the Opposition on matters which require the agreement of both sides,” the government stated.

The David Granger-led administration says it agrees with the Court that it is of greatest importance that the President and the Leader of the Opposition conclude the process of appointing a new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The Government and Opposition have met three times in the past week to “hammer out” the list of six nominees in accordance with the CCJ guidelines, the statement by government said.

That process has not yet been completed and the Government pledged that it intends to continue to approach the matter in a consensual manner, as stipulated by the CCJ. “The Government is confident that a GECOM Chairman could be appointed in a few days’ time,” government said.

“The Government contends that the appointment of a Chairman of the Elections Commission is an important step in continuing the elections process which has already begun.

“Government remains committed to holding credible elections in the shortest possible time,” the administration added.

Government reiterated that the Elections Commission is responsible for holding elections and not the Executive. GECOM therefore has to advise the President of its readiness to conduct elections.

The Government maintains that credible elections are the hallmark of a democratic state. Credible elections are dependent on, in part, the integrity of the Official List of Electors.