Page One Comment: Local Government Elections

Local Government elections have not been held since 1994. They were first due in 1997 and since then there has been a series of postponements for various reasons. As can be expected from the prolonged delay, local government exists in name only. The few municipal and neighbourhood democratic councils that are functioning are doing so under a mandate that has not been renewed for 20 years. As a means of entrenching its control of local government bodies, the PPP/C government has over the last few years set about dismantling councils and replacing their members with handpicked persons without the slightest concern that there has been no democratic renewal.

After a torturous wait, several bills to reform the local government system were passed in Parliament last year and assented to by President Ramotar. One crucial bill is still to be assented to but is not seen as an impediment to the holding of local government elections. There is no obstacle to the holding of these elections. The budget for 2014 has been passed by Parliament and the Guyana Elections Commission has signalled that it is fully prepared to discharge its mandate once the order is given. It is now for the government to issue the relevant order and it has not to date provided any credible reason as to why this has not yet been done. Its continuing denial of these elections will call into question its commitment to democracy.

While not a panacea, the holding of local government elections will offer an opportunity for addressing chronic problems that bedevil people on a daily basis such as garbage collection, traffic chaos, poor drainage and irrigation and substandard road work. As a way of reminding the PPP/C administration of its obligations, Stabroek News will carry on its front page from tomorrow a daily reference to local government elections which will take various forms.

More in Local News

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. The medical school sign on the Buddy’s building

    Buddy’s Pool Hall, Night Club closed after business falls

  2. Lakeram Kewlachand

    Gangaram man takes his own life

  3. Barry Dataram

    Who is to blame for Dataram escape?

  4. Colin Rodney

    Cop charged with taking bribes

  5. Citizens fleeing country due to crime, IAC says

  6. The Rio Inn at Forshaw and Oronoque Streets

    Teen shot dead outside Rio nightclub

  7. Courtenay Griffith’s home in Lodge that is earmarked to be demolished.

    City to tear down 52 derelict buildings

  8. The bus in the trench along Homestretch Avenue.

    Bus ends up in Homestretch trench

  9. Barry Dataram

    Absent Barry Dataram found guilty of drug trafficking


Recommended For You