A Partnership for National Unity today condemned President Donald Ramotar’s decision to ignore one of the four local government bills which seeks to remove certain functions from the Minister of Local Government. It was announced yesterday that Ramotar had signed three of the bills but the fourth, the Local Government (Amendment) Bill was snubbed as the government says it still has problems with it.
The APNU release issued today follows:
The announcement, by the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, that President Ramotar has only signed into law three of the four Bills which were unanimously passed by the National Assembly and were awaiting his Assent more than three months ago, reinforces the public perception that the Ramotar PPP Administration is determined to frustrate the holding of Local Government Elections under the reformed Local Government system.
The Local Government (Amendment) Bill asserts the autonomy of Local Democratic organs and, as such, addresses the very essence of Local democracy. The PPP intention to impose Regional Executives Officers into the Principal Act (28: 02) was rejected in Committee. The Party’s further attempts to alter this act were also defeated by a majority vote in the National Assembly. Therefore, the President’s non-assent confirms the view that the PPP wishes to retain the archaic colonial powers now vested in the Minister of Local Government.
This is an unacceptable travesty and does violence to the Constitutional stipulation for ensuring the autonomy of the Local democratic organs. Once again the Administration is displaying its contempt for the decisions of the National Assembly.