"The people of Guyana will resist a dictatorship of the PPP. Local Government Elections must be held" -Harmon
“I am not getting into Local Government Elections now…what we have to do is to fix what is there first and we have to ensure that we have a system that is working and a system that people trust and a system that is professional and a system that operates in an unbiased manner so that the people of our country can contribute.” Irfaan Ali told reporters on Monday afternoon.
However, Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon will have none of that: “I wish to place on record for Irfaan Ali and all who feel that they can violate the Constitution with impunity that there will be serious resistance to this effort if they persist with it,” said Harmon in a statement today.
“The Constitution at Article 71 provides that Local Government is a vital aspect of democracy and shall be organized so as to involve as many people as possible in the task of managing and developing the communities in which they live. For this purpose, the said Article 71 of the Constitution also states that Parliament shall provide for a countrywide system of Local Government through the establishment of organs of local democratic power as an integral part of the political organization of the State, Harmon declared.”
He noted that “before 2015 when APNU+AFC came into office we had 18 years without Local Government Elections. The PPP under its then Local Government Ministers, Ganga Persaud and Norman Whittaker went around the country and dismissed elected NDC’s, installing in their places hand-picked Interim Management Committees (IMC). These IMC’s answered directly to Freedom House. This will not be condoned.”
The Opposition Leader said “Since the APNU+AFC came into office in 2015 we had two Local Government Elections in 2016 and 2018. So what Irfaan Ali is proposing is again an abandonment of constitutionally guaranteed Local Government Elections which is critical to Democratic renewal.”
Harmon sent a clear message to the diplomatic representatives of the EU, Britain, the United States and Canada known as the ABC&E that they should pay attention to what their preserred political party was up to, and that the Opposition would not be backing down if the Constitution of Guyana is breached by the government.
“These are more compelling signs that the PPP regime is intent on going back to their days of DICTATORSHIP in Guyana. I am sending this clear signal to all who know their “ABC” alphabet and those with ears to hear, the people of Guyana will resist a dictatorship of the PPP. Local Government Elections must be held,” Harmon declared.
The Opposition leader reiterated that it was imperative that work begins to ensure that GECOM is ready and prepared for Elections in Guyana. “We therefore renew our call for the allocation of resources in the 2021 budget for GECOM to undertake House-to-House registration and to produce a new, credible list for both Local Government Elections and General and Regional Elections,” he said.
Under the last PPP Civic Government, Local Government Elections were not held for two decades although they are due every two years. It was under the Coalition government in 2016 that local government elections returned.
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