No greater assault on democracy than the dislodging of elected representatives of the people and their replacement by handpicked nominees of the Minister

Dear Editor,
I read with amazement your letter headlined `No amendment to the law required to install an IMC in Georgetown’ (SN October 4, 2009).

This is a gross misconception of the law as adumbrated under the Municipal and District Councils Act. Chapter 28:01 of the Laws of Guyana.

The article goes on to state that Mr. Clinton Collymore said that a writ sought to injunct him from even thinking of any such IMC for Georgetown, and that an action was thrown out by the Judge.

This is misleading and stems from confusion of thought. There were two distinct and separate actions filed in the High Court which impacted on the issue of removal of councilors from office, one was in respect of the Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown and the other in respect of the Town of Linden.
In the case of Georgetown it is true that the Chief Justice Mr. Carl Singh now Chancellor Acting decided against the case filed against the Minister of Local Government.

The action to require the holding of elections was filed on August 17, 2000. The matter never came up for hearing until October 2, 2004.

An appeal against the decision of the then Honourable Carl Singh was filed on December 31, 2004. The appeal later came up for hearing by a Court of Appeal presided over by the Honourable Charles Ramson.

The lawyers for the appellant turned up too late for the hearing after the appeal was already struck out by the Honourable Charles Ramson, and rightly so, all on account of their tardiness.

Though there was an appeal, in respect of the issue concerning the Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown, the issue was never heard or pronounced on in the Court of Appeal.

What Mr. Collymore has also failed to mention is that there is still no hearing of the action filed by the Mayor of Linden against the action of Mr. Clinton Collymore as Minister in purporting to remove the members of the Linden Town Council.

For the information of Mr. Collymore and anyone that may be misguided on this issue, the matter will be prosecuted to the logical conclusion and even as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice if need be.

There can be no greater assault on democracy than the dislodging of the elected representatives of the people and replacing the same by handpicked nominees of the Minister.

The law still remains that where 12 or more voters are dissatisfied with the work of the council they can require the Minister to hold an enquiry, and the procedure for doing so is fully set out in the act, and this procedure has been sidestepped all the way.

Yours faithfully,
C.M.  Llewellyn John

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