Gov’t holding seminar on role of elected officials in local development despite withholding polls

In what will likely be seen as one of the biggest ironies this year, the Ministry of Local Govern-ment is staging a seminar today on the role of elected officials in local economic development despite the fact that the PPP/C administration is flagrantly withholding local government elections and these haven’t been held here for 20 years.

The ministry in an advisory invited the media to cover the opening ceremony for the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) under the theme `The Role of Elected Officials in Local Economic Development.’

In attendance will be councillor Michael Thompson of the city of Toronto, Canada.

The government here has come under enormous pressure over the absence of local government elections particularly since there is no known impediment. The government has offered a clutch of excuses for not holding the elections which have all been repudiated. These include that the elections commission, Gecom is not ready for the poll. Gecom has rejected this.

CARILED is funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) with in-kind contributions from Caribbean and Com-monwealth countries.  The total project value is approximately Cdn$23 million, with Cdn$19 million from DFATD and Cdn$4 million from in-kind contributions from FCM and its membership, as well as partners in the Caribbean region and the Commonwealth.

The project is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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