New York, United States – (March 17, 2019) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, last evening, assured members of the Guyanese diaspora in New York that Guyana is not heading to a constitutional crisis.
“Guyanese people are smart and they know the type of political leadership they have had. So try to get the facts and analyse it for yourself. Don’t believe the fake news. Guyana is not in a crisis. Guyana has a strong stable Government, which respects the Constitution, respects the rule of law and will never damage that,” Minister Harmon stated.
The Minister of State who was at the time speaking to the large number of Guyanese gathered at the St. Stephen’s Church Hall in Queens, New York, said the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) since the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018 has consistently peddled misinformation with the aim of driving fear into citizens.
“While the world is watching Guyana and seeing the developments that are taking place in Guyana, there are some people internally who don’t want to see that progress, who want to put a halt to that progress and who wants to create confusion in our country. This is what is happening. So many things are happening in Guyana but this sideshow is taking away from how the people of Guyana are benefitting from a better life,” he said.
The Minister continued: “It is our belief that the Government is acting constitutionally and the President remains the President until such time that there are new elections and another President is sworn in. The Government continues to function,” Minister Harmon said.
He said Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo continues to misinform the public with the intent to confuse and create panic among citizens.
“We have worked hard to change Guyana from a ‘narco’ state, we have changed the idea that life in Guyana was cheap, we have worked hard to show that every Guyanese life means something. So all of these talks about March 21, that is not true. The President has made it very clear that there are four processes going on right now; the work of the National Assembly, the work of the executive, the judicial process and the work of the Guyana Elections Commission,” he said.
Minister Harmon reminded members of the diaspora that the Opposition and its leader, has a history of wanton utterances. He noted too that Mr. Jagdeo’s continued efforts to create a crisis has serious implications on peace, race relations and national security. These actions, Minister Harmon said, must be deplored by all Guyanese and even those living abroad.
Further, he said the Government is not afraid to call elections, while noting that the Constitution of Guyana states unequivocally that GECOM is an independent, autonomous body responsible for the hosting of free, fair and credible elections.
“President Granger cannot interfere in GECOM’s work. He has to be advised by the Commission of its readiness to host elections. The President has repeatedly, over the past few weeks, said that he is committed to holding credible elections in the shortest possible time but he has to be satisfied that the Commission is in operational readiness to deliver credible elections,” the Minister of State said.
Minister Harmon also informed the gathering that President David Granger, on March 13, 2019 wrote to Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson requesting that the Commission presents him with a work programme in the shortest possible time. This, he said, is testimony that the Government is prepared to adhere to the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.