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Saturday, April 29, 2006

-- Government
THE government has indicated that the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) must withdraw preconditions which it says clearly interfere with and usurp the constitutional mandate of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

“These preconditions were set by the PNCR as the basis for discussions on constitutional means and possibilities to deal with the status of government, post August 4,” the Government Information Agency (GINA) stated last night.

Following the meeting of President Bharrat Jagdeo and Leader of the PNCR Robert Corbin at the Office of the President on April 19, nominees of the government, Attorney General Doodnauth Singh and Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran and Opposition nominees, PNCR Chairman Winston Murray and Senior Counsel Rex McKay, were tasked with examining the constitutional means and possibilities following GECOM’s failure to hold elections before August 4.

GINA said the President’s Information Liaison, Robert Persaud, reported that Cabinet, at its Wednesday meeting, was presented with the PNCR’s response to address the constitutional means/possibilities to deal with the government’s post-August 4 status.

“In essence, preconditions were set by the PNCR for any agreement on constitutional means. Cabinet found those constitutional conditionalities will interfere and usurp the constitutional functions of GECOM,” Persaud was quoted by GINA as saying.

He said Cabinet was informed by Attorney General Singh that the PNCR nominees clearly outlined that the government would have to first agree to the conditionalities, if talks on constitutional possibilities post-August 4 were to be entertained.

“The Information Liaison said it should be recalled that the need for GECOM’s constitutional mandate not to be infringed by any political party, was explicitly made known to the main Opposition Leader and captured in the joint-statement issued on April 21, 2006,” GINA stated.

Persaud said Cabinet in its discussion concluded that the preconditions set by the PNCR for the talks ought to be removed so that these discussions on the constitutional issues could proceed.

The Joint Opposition Parliamentary Parties on Thursday issued a press statement at Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel, stating that talks were quashed by the administration, a claim which is contrary to the discussion and conclusion of Cabinet, GINA said.

Guyana Chronicle