Ruling on local gov’t changes to be handed down today
issue with this reasoning, asking Nandlall to substantiate his claims that the boundaries had in fact been set by the CEO.
Nandlall said that what was on record was that the boundaries were not fixed by the minister himself, which was a violation of sections 4, 5 & 12 of the Local Democratic Organs Act.
He said that while the minister did the demarcation in relation to seven of what he said were new NDCs, he did not do so in the case of two.
Forde said there was no evidence produced by Nandlall that the CEO fixed the boundaries and so the applicant failed to substantiate the basis of her claim.
Attorney General Basil Williams SC, who represents Bulkan, took Nandlall to task to produce the law which stated that it is the minister who, at every successive local government election, was required to fix the boundaries.
He said that the section relied on by Nandlall does not so require of the minister.
Both Williams and Forde argued that those sections have nothing to with the holding of elections.
Nandlall advanced that it was the same statutory procedure for every election, while pointing out that the minister had made demarcations in 2015 ahead of elections in 2016 and that it was also followed in 1994—the last time local government elections had been held before again being held in 2016.
The attorneys for the state, however, argued that while this might have been so, the minister is not bound by it as it has no connection to elections and so the applicant has still failed to show that the minister has to set boundaries for every election. They say too that the LGAs and boundaries are not newly created but are merely now activated.
It is claimed that the Minister altered existing boundaries within existing LGAs without any attempt to consult with important stakeholders, including the electors or the political parties. “We believe that such a process must involve consulting with the relevant stakeholders,” Nandlall has said.
Shadick’s application also argues that the CEO has no power to fix boundaries for the new NDCs created by the minister. This, it says, is a power of the minister himself.
Bulkan has since said that he has acted within the ambit of the law and dismissed the case as baseless
The new NDCs are: Moruka/Phoenix Park; Kitty/ Providence; Nile/Cozier; Lamaha/Yarowkabra; Hauraruni/Yarowkabra; Plegt Anker/Kortberaad; and Wyburg/Caracas. The areas that were restructured were Rose Hall; Evergreen/Paradise; Aberdeen/Zorg-en-Vlygt; Malgre Tout/Meerzorgen; La Grange/Nismes; Toevlugt/ Patentia; Caledonia/Good Success; Woodlands/Farm; Mahaicony/Abary; Zeelust/Rosignol; Blairmont/ Gelderland; Ordnance Fortlands/No. 38; Adventure/Bush Lot; and No. 52 – 74.