Parliament unlikely to be dissolved by December 2 -Harmon

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2019, 15:55 by Writer

Parliament is unlikely to be dissolved by December 2, 2019 because more cash may have to be approved for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to conduct general elections scheduled for March 2, 2020, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon said Thursday.

“It would appear so to me,” when asked whether Parliament would not be dissolved against the background of the need to satisfy GECOM’s requirements. He said the dissolution of Parliament was under “active consideration in Cabinet”.

“The dissolution of the National Assembly (Parliament) will be determined in principal measure by the need for GECOM to get the additional resources which it said it wants,” Harmon said.

Harmon told a post-Cabinet news conference that efforts are underway to have a number of bipartisan parliamentary committees meet.

The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has already refused to return to the National Assembly on the grounds that the David Granger-led administration is illegally in office because general elections should have been held already on account of the validly passed December 21, 2018 no-confidence motion.

The Director-General stressed the need for GECOM to get sufficient funds to conduct the general and ten regional administrative council elections next year.

“We have said that it is important that GECOM gets all of the resources its needs to ensure that we have credible elections in March of 2020 so what I am saying to you today is that issues will have to be dealt with before Parliament is dissolved,” said Harmon.

However, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall told News-Talk Radio Guyana/Demerara Waves Online News that government does not have sufficient time leverage. He explained that the dissolution of the Parliament must be done within three months of the election, but that timeframe is then limited by Nomination Day as the seats of the National Assembly and Regional Councils must be declared vacant at least one day before. The Representation of the People’s Act states that Nomination Day cannot be later than 32 days before a general election.