With the Guyana government and the opposition’s recent agreement on local government reform, the way has now been cleared for the holding of local government elections in Guyana after an extended period. What does this mean for Guyana? It means that the citizens of municipalities will have an opportunity to elect locals as city councillors. In most democratic societies this is a consisten
t process. Unfortunately Guyana is not like most democratic societies, since there is an encumbrance that has been stifling our growth and development for more than two decades.
It is the view of the Independent Party that local government elections and local representation are the bedrock of real democracy. People elected locally to represent their communities are more connected to those communities, have a greater understanding of those communities, and are better equipped to handle the interest of their communities.
In this context the Independent Party welcomes the return of this fundamental democratic process to the politics of Guyana. With that being said, it is the view of the Independent Party that the decision to reject the proposal of the direct election of the Mayor, who is the de facto head of city govern
ment, amounts to the major parties being able to retain power and isolate the voices which are striving to end the politics of opportunism and nepotism. Nonetheless, the Independent Party will be going directly to the people with its platform and message, providing them with an alternative vision for the municipalities around Guyana, and a relief from the mean politics of division and victimization that has been hovering over them for decades.
Mark A Benschop