Activist Mark Benschop yesterday staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Legal Affairs on Carmichael Street, over its handling of the four local government bills passed in the National Assembly last month.
Benschop told Stabroek News that he went out to protest in support of democracy.
He said that the Local Government Commission Bill, the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, the Municipal and District Councils (Amendment) Bill and the Fiscal Transfers Bill were passed in parliament since August 7 and were then sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers to receive their assent certificates.
He noted that these bills have been at the Attorney General’s Chambers for almost a month and he said that frivolous excuses are being made with regards to the completion of the bills. He said that parliament is the sole entity to correct bills that have been passed. “There is absolutely no reason for the bills to be sitting at the AGs office,” he said.
Benschop said that the fact that the local government bills have passed through parliament and are now delayed at the AG’s office is a display of the government’s arrogance and disrespect to citizens of Guyana and he charged that the delay is bordering on illegality.
“Let it be stated when the local government elections will be held. Let’s get on with the elections and restore power to the people,” Benschop said.
He added that it is high time for local government elections to be held, since the polls were last held in 1994. Benschop has indicated that he will be contesting in local government elections.