Quinn calls for political leaders to find a constitutional way forward

British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn speaking at the GCCI’s AGM on Monday (DPI photo)

-to end political challenges

AMIDST political fallout over the passage of a no-confidence motion against the government last year, British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, has called for the political leaders to get together and agree on a constitutional way forward.

“We support democracy and good governance…my predecessors have been outspoken about the importance of free and fair elections…I said the same thing in 2015 and again on December 21 last year… I will continue to say the same thing going forward,” said Quinn during his remarks at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)’s Annual General Meeting on Monday, March 18.

According to Quinn, the constitution is the supreme law of Guyana and it is not his role to interpret it but, he opined that the “clock is ticking” following the December 21 vote. Although the validity of the vote is being challenged in the court, he noted that, “the clock has not been stayed so the political leadership need to get together, and agree on a constitutional way forward.”

“It is imperative this happens. If no way forward is found, I fear there will be a further harmful impact on business and investment in Guyana. None of us in this room want that”, he emphasised.

The UK official reminded that all political parties have a responsibility to act honestly and truthfully for the betterment of every citizen. “Voters also have a responsibility, to hold their elected officials to account for what they have done or are doing, to not blindly follow one party because that has been what the family has always done. It is time to look to whomever has the best policies and best plans”, posited Quinn.

President David Granger recently assured that the government continues to function within the constitution and there is no legal impediment that restrains it from exercising its functions or requires it to assume only ‘caretaker’ functions.

In an address to the nation, the Head of State said notwithstanding the passage of the motion of no confidence in the National Assembly on December 21, last year, “the current political situation should not be a cause for alarm and anxiety.” To this end, he added that he is prepared to do his part to ensure credible elections are held, underscoring the importance of political cooperation at this juncture of the country’s history.

“I am prepared to do my part to ensure credible elections within…the shortest time possible this year. The decisions which have to be made and the actions which need to be taken, however, are not mine alone”, President Granger said. He has also reminded that his proclamation of a date rests solely with the Guyana Elections Commission, which is still to give a timeline for the completion of preparations to conduct same.

The President also reminded that GECOM is a constitutional body and its operations cannot be interfered with, in anyway, by himself or any other body.