AFC pillories Ramotar, Gecom over delayed local gov’t polls

The Alliance For Change today chastised both President Donald Ramotar and the Guyana Elections Commission over the continued failure to hold local government elections.

An AFC press release issued today follows:

President Donald Ramotar continues to show disregard for local democracy and the people of Guyana and for the constitutional right of Guyanese to elect their local Government authority. He has failed to walk in the foot steps of his founder leader Dr Jagan who held local government elections two years after he had won the presidency.

Mr Ramotar in his 2011 election campaign at a meeting organized by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association at Pegasus on Wednesday the 25th March had said if he won the 2011 elections, he would hold local government elections in 2012. He also said, he thinks we are in really desperate need for local government election in our country. “Many of our problems we have at the level of the communities have to do with the fact, that there is a need for renewed democracy on the ground,” Ramotar explained. However that time has come and gone and 2013 is almost finished and still no election.

Parliament enacted legislation and caused the said laws to be violated by the Minister, by allowing the various Ministers of Local Government to table bills year after year to postpone the election. Gecom holds the power to put all systems in place for the holding of these elections.

Gecom also seems not to care, they never demand for the election to be held in accordance with law, they just go to sleep when the Minister goes to Parliament, they forget that they are empowered by Act 10 of 1990 which has amended Section 36 of the Principle Act 28:03

The date for holding of local governments elections is fixed by Section 7 of Act 10 of 1990 the Local Authorities Elections Amendment Act as the first Monday of the third December. This means that every three years the election shall be held. Gecom has full knowledge of this Act since it is on their website

Section 4 of the Act transfers the power from the Minister to the Elections Commission. This Act was intended to remove all the powers of the Minister over Local Government elections and render the system totally independent of government direction,

The first local government election was held in 1994, after Act 10 of 1990, came into force.

The order of Parliament which suspended elections this year will come to an end on the first of December

This means that elections are constitutionally due to be held by the second of December; which is a Monday, in accordance with Law

But Gecom has not prepared for Local Government Elections to be held this year. It is over three years since the Local Authorities Elections Amendment Bill was approved by Parliament and assented to by former President, Bharrat Jagdeo.

The four Local Government bills which the President refuses to assent to ,have nothing to do with the holding of Local Government Elections, but are essential for a better and more democratic system of local governance.

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