APNU is not responsible for the delay in the passage of local government bills

Dear Editor,
I write in relation to the article captioned ‘Local gov‘t bills stuck at select committee…‘ published in your Saturday edition of the Stabroek News on December 29.

I note that this is the third article in recent times published in your newspapers, seeking to wrongly attack me in my various capacities. I believe that routine journalistic practice of simply ‘fact checking’, would have prevented such publications.

However, in relation to the matter at caption, I wish to reject out of hand the contention of the Minister of Local Government, Ganga Persaud, that I am or the APNU is responsible for any delay in the passage of the said local government bills.

On the last sitting of the National Assembly on December, 20, 2012, at a meeting of the members of the Special Select Committee on the local government reform bills, under the chairmanship of the Speaker, Mr Raphael Trotman, I was elected chairman of the said committee ahead of the Minister.

The Yuletide season being at hand, Parliament was adjourned to January 3, 2013. As a result, members have returned to different parts of Guyana and abroad.

In an interview with the Guyana Times newspaper, I told their reporter that on the resumption of the National Assembly, I would call the first meeting of the Committee. It is therefore fallacious to assert that the local government reform bills were stuck in the Select Committee when the Assembly has been adjourned to a date after the Christmas season.

The APNU has always dilated on the fact that the PPP/C government is responsible for the non-implementation of local government reform in Guyana. For over a decade the PPP/C government has had custody of the process of introducing local government reform and has failed to do so.

Likewise, the PPP/C had custody of the said local government bills in the 9th Parliament and only passed into law one of the five bills.
In conclusion, the local government bills could not be stuck in the Select Committee due to the appointment of its chairman during the Christmas season of 2012. Is the Minister of Local Govern-ment signalling a plan of non-co-operation in the Select Committee under the new chairmanship?
Yours faithfully,
Basil Williams

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