Govt con­tin­ues to dis­re­spect elected lo­cal bod­ies

Weekend Mirror - - GETTING IT RIGHT -


Peo­ples’ Pro­gres­sive Party’s (PPP) Head Of­fice, late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Jan­uary 19th, 2017, was con­tacted by a num­ber of Re­gional Chair­men and May­ors ex­press­ing their dis­ap­proval in at­tend­ing a Gov­ern­ment of Guyana ac­tiv­ity hosted by the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ties to launch the in­au­gu­ral meet­ing of the Na­tional Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (NRDCC) on Jan­uary 20, 2017 at the Mar­riot Ho­tel, Kingston. Among in­vi­tees to the in­au­gu­ral NRDCC are Re­gional Chair­men, Re­gional Vice Chair­men, May­ors and Deputy May­ors.

Of in­ter­est is that the Re­gional Chair­men and the Re­gional Vice Chair­men of the seven (7) Re­gional Demo­cratic Coun­cils (RDCs) won by the PPP/ C at the 2015 Gen­eral and Re­gional elec­tions, and the May­ors and Deputy May­ors of the three (3) Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties also won by the PPPC at the 2016 Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions, were given very short no­tice and were not given de­tails re­gard­ing the meet­ing prior to trav­el­ling. Fur­ther, they were also asked to fund their own trav­el­ling costs.

The PPP notes with in­ter­est that there was no prior con­sul­ta­tion with the Par­lia­men­tary Op­po­si­tion or with the in­vited Lo­cal Au­thor­i­ties (Re­gions and Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties) on the in­au­gu­ra­tion of a NRDCC and the es­tab­lish­ment of ten (10) Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tees (RDCCs). The lat­ter would be co-chaired by the Re­gional Chair­man and Mayor for each Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion.

Also of in­ter­est is that the Neigh­bour­hood Demo­cratic Coun­cils (NDCs) which were also over­whelm­ingly won by the PPP at the 2016 Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions have been ex­cluded in the NRDCC and the ten (10) RDCCs.

As a re­sult, the seven (7) Re­gional Chair­men and Vice Chair­men and three May­ors and Deputy May­ors of the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have writ­ten to the Min­is­ter elec­tron­i­cally and by hand in­form­ing him that they will not be at­tend­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the NRDCC on Jan­uary 20, 2017 due to lack of prior con­sul­ta­tion.

These elected Re­gional and Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers also stated that they will not en­dorse at­tempts to cre­ate any body which will im­pinge on or di­lute the Con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal power and au­thor­ity of these elected Coun­cils.

They are, how­ever, pre­pared to meet the Min­is­ter to dis­cuss the pro­posed NRDCC at a prop­erly ar­ranged meet­ing with ad­e­quate no­tice with in-depth con­sul­ta­tions in each of their Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gions with the RDC, the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the NDCs. (PPP State­ment).

Of note on the pro­gramme is the in­tro­duc­tion of Re­gional Flags and Sym­bols. These Re­gional Coun­cils have op­posed this and be­lieve the event in ques­tion ap­pears to be one con­trived to im­pose these on the Re­gions.

The PPP con­cludes that this is yet an­other ex­am­ple of the gov­ern­ment’s un­will­ing­ness to hold proper and mean­ing­ful con­sul­ta­tions with the elected bod­ies at the Re­gional, Mu­nic­i­pal and NDC lev­els. The gov­ern­ment’s con­sis­tency in their at­tempts to con­trol in all ways pos­si­ble can only now be de­scribed as ut­ter dis­dain and dis­re­spect for these elected bod­ies which are con­trolled over­whelm­ingly by the PPP/C.

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