Following toshao elections in 116 villages, 82 new leaders have been voted into office, while the remaining 34 were leaders who were re-elected.
The just-concluded national elections for toshaos ended on June 15th.
Among those sworn in are 14 female toshaos, according to Principal Regional Development Officer in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MOIPA) Anil Roberts.
According to statistics provided by MOIPA, the number of female toshaos this year equals the figure from 2015. Of the 14 women toshaos, five were from Region One. A total of 24 women were elected as toshaos and senior councillors.
Roberts told Stabroek News yesterday that the elections for Koriabo in the Barima River in Region One (Barima/Waini) were not held due to a land dispute. However, those elections are set for Friday.
“In all the other elections, there were no reports of irregularities,” he said. Apart from a number of women taking office, Roberts said, a number of young male and female candidates were also elected to serve.
The last election was held on June 15th in Orealla in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), where Carl Peneaux, a former primary/secondary head teacher was elected toshao.
A number of toshaos were not eligible for reelection, having served two terms. However, Kenki Yaimo, of Cashew Island in Region Six, who is serving a second term as “community toshao,” was reelected to a third term. He was exempted, according to the ministry, as “traditional practice was acknowledged.”
Meanwhile, among those reelected were Cherie Pearson, of Santa Cruz, and Elizabeth Romascindo, of Bumbury Hill in Region One, David Wilson of Akawini and Silvan Raphael of Mashabo in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam).
In addition to the toshao elections, polls were also held for senior councillors in 46 satellite villages. Satellite villages fall under the jurisdiction of village councils.