Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) political leader Phillip Edward Alexander is calling on government to postpone the general election for three months.
He said the nation needs to have an urgent discussion on the matter.
“Chief among those reasons," he explained, "being the fact that we are at the start of what is looking like a wave of community spread covid19 infection, and this alone may hamper movement and persons' interest in being part of any process that can put them and their loved ones at so much risk of contagion. Instead of putting people in each other's faces for campaigning and voting, we should in fact be returning to a lockdown position to halt this spread before it becomes a crisis.”
He said the country also needed to decide if it was comfortable having an unsupervised election.
“The very much needed international observers cannot make it in time, and we as a nation have to answer if we are comfortable having this election unsupervised, especially when one takes into account the propensity of some in authority to bend if not outright break the rules to their advantage. “
Alexander said the election should be postponed for three months or until covid19 is under control and international observers are able to attend.
He said the Elections and Boundaries Commission has the capacity to either hold or refund deposits, stand down the elections for three months and allow for the management of both of these issues.
“This also provides the opportunity to begin the process of repatriation and quarantining of the citizens trapped outside who should have been accommodated before any election was called. Properly done, the country would be in a much better position to hold not only free and fair, but democratic elections that respects the rights of all citizens and not just those fortunate enough to benefit from the Minister of National Security's exemption lottery.”
He said postponing the election would also give the government time to read its final budget, which he said was the most appropriate report card on an outgoing government and the best yardstick by which to gauge its performance.