Ministry of Communities committed to local democracy; welcomes comments

Dear Editor,

The Minister of Communities has noted with pleasure the interest that many Guyanese have shown in the role of local government, in the context of the upcoming local government (LGE) elections on March 18, 2016. Letters by Messsrs Gordon Forte (‘Recognising irony.’ SN, Nov 22; Sherwood Lowe ‘Are we imposing too grand an agenda on local government?’ SN, Dec 2; Lincoln Lewis ‘How different in political culture are PPP, APNU and AFC?’ KN, Nov 24; Vishnu Bisram ‘PPP, APNU and AFC are on the same political page.’ KN, Nov 25), and others, even cartoons and editorials have made reference to LGE and offered opinions and suggestions. All views and propositions are helpful.

The fact that in fifty years since independence LGE have been held only twice, is a forceful reminder of a mindset that says that local government is not important. Further, centralisation of decision-making power has, unfortunately, been particularly ruthlessly executed by the Jagdeo and Ramotar administrations. The Government of Guyana is committed to undoing the current non-existence of local democracy. The administration undertakes to effect a repair job that it knows will be arduous and tedious. Be that as it may, the government will not shy away from this necessary task of strengthening democracy. We will not pause in our quest to place power in the hands of the people. Even as we remain steadfastly committed to decentralised government, strong local governance and democracy, we welcome all comments; that is what real democracy is all about. Again, your government is happy that Guyanese – across the political spectrum – are excited and vocal about local democracy.

Additionally, Minister Bulkan wishes to express his gratitude to US Ambassador Perry Holloway who, during a courtesy call on President Granger on December 3, congratulated the administration for selecting a date for local government elections. Minister Bulkan agrees with Ambassador Holloway that this is indeed a historic event for Guyana.

The administration is determined to deepen the democratic process and to finally honour the constitutional provisions relating to local democracy.

 

Yours faithfully,

Mark DaCosta

Research Officer

to the Minister

Ministry of

Communities

 

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