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  HOME | Caribbean

Guyana’s Main Opposition Demands Elections Now

SAN JUAN – Guyana’s main opposition party, the APNU, demanded on Friday that the government “hold general elections now.”

The APNU’s call was in response to a statement from the Guyana Elections Commission, or GECOM, that it would embark on a new cycle of registration of voters.

“APNU vehemently rejects this call and calls on the government to stop the quest for buying time and hold general elections now,” the opposition said.

GECOM said it would start the new Continuous Registration exercise on Dec. 1.

“GECOM is fully prepared to start the seventh cycle of continuous registration on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, where persons 14 years or older on a date to be prescribed by GECOM may get registered at the closest GECOM registration office in their area,” the commission said.

The last cycle of continuous registration ended in March and political observers say the announcement by GECOM could result in allegations that the ruling PPP/C was seeking to delay the polls.

The APNU said that “it is very clear that GECOM, supposedly an independent body has responded to the PPP/C call for a 7th cycle of registration.”

With the release of the official list of voters, Guyana is ready for elections now, since “this is the roll that is needed to hold any general elections,” APNU said.

“Therefore, A Partnership for National Unity calls on GECOM to establish its readiness for elections. APNU also wish to call on the Government to use the present Official List of Electors and let us go to the polls,” the party said.

President Donald Ramotar announced earlier this month the suspension of Parliament for up to six months, saying that he wanted to avoid sterile debate with the opposition ahead of the January 2015 general elections.

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