Attorney General exposes APNU on Local Government Elections

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Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall.
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The move by the main political party, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to distance itself from the ‘historical evolution’ surrounding the highly debated local government election issue is ‘simply wrong and dishonest’.

This is the contention of Attorney General, and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall.

In an interview with the Government Information Agency, Minister Nandlall said since the last local government election which was held in 1994, the main opposition party has been actively involved in legally postponing the holding the election.

“The only year that the PNC (APNU) stood by itself and demanded local government elections was 2014, and in so doing they are attempting to distance themselves from the historical evolution of this matter and the opposition is still contributing to the non-holding of local government elections.”

According to Minister Nandlall, the difficulty with which the government is currently confronted is the fact that there is pending in the National Assembly, a No-Confidence motion for debate.

That motion, if it is taken to its logical conclusion, will mean that by virtue of the constitution, Parliament will be dissolved, forcing the President and the Cabinet to resign, and elections to be held within three months after the dissolution of Parliament.

With this constitutional formulation, the holding of local government election will be highly improbable, according to the Attorney General.

“These elections, as well as national elections are to be administered by the same agency, that is the Guyana Elections Commission, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the Guyana Election Commission is simply incapable of administering these two elections either contemporaneously, simultaneously or within short periods of each other.”

Opposition Leader David Granger during his recent protest for Local Government Elections.
Opposition Leader David Granger during his recent protest for Local Government Elections.

Hence, he pointed out that the government therefore has to be sure which one of the elections is likely to take place and then prepare for that one, simply because Guyana does not have the capabilities to facilitate both elections at the same time.

Speaking to the issue as to why local government election has not been held since 1994, the Attorney General chronicled a series of events, all of which the main opposition has actively participated in to postpone the holding of the election.

“Under the law, local government elections are required to be held once every three years, so 1994 the last one was held, and the next one was supposed to have been held in 1997, now let us go back to 1997 and examine the situation there.”

The Attorney General recalled that in 1997, the then government of the day went to General Elections and for the same reason, local government and general elections could not have been facilitated in the same year, the decision was made to hold general elections with the PPP/C presidential Candidate being the late Janet Jagan.

That election was followed by massive social unrest, riots, violence, street protest, and arson, which resulted in a team from CARICOM making interventions.

The team sat with the then PNC which was led by Mr. Desmond Hoyte, and the Government where they brokered an arrangement that is now popularly referred to as the Herdmanston Accord.

Two important decisions were made in that accord, the first being that the government would go back to general elections within three years, thereby giving up two years of government, and the second one being those elections would be held under a reformed constitution.

“Those are the two important decisions coming out of that accord, local government elections, obviously was not a factor in the equation and both the PNC and the government recognised that and it was decided by the two parties that we will have local government election after the constitutional reform.”

This was done, since the constitutional reform process would have reformed the local government structure, as well and new elections were going to be held under that reformed structure.

“When we came out of 2001 election, again there was violence, unrest, burning in the streets, nevertheless a task force was assembled by the PNC and PPP comprising senior functionaries of both political parties, and they began to work out a modality of how the local government structure would be done legally.”

While the constitution provided for the establishment of a local government commission, it did not provide for the way that the commission will function, the powers that the commission will have, the way the commission will staff itself, all of which were supposed to be the subject of ordinary legislation.

[Extracted and modified from GINA]

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. For this country to progress we must have fresh thinking with open and stable minds. We must purge ourselves from the dirty rotten garbage of old. All this venomous nonsense about PNC and PPP is counterproductive. Change has occurred already. AFC was introduced into local politics and has made a significant difference and now we have a collation in the opposition. The old brainwashed perspective of affiliation will not take this country and its people to a better place of consciousness nor well-being. This country has become crappy and we must embrace change in an unselfish manner. What of our children behind us?

  2. You should not be calling people liars.
    Case in point, whoever get most votes will have the Presidency.
    PPP/C has the Presidency, so your accusation is sick.
    AFC has 7% of votes and APNU/PNC and God only knows how many more in the Opposition APNU legion makes the majority in Parliament.
    Now who is the biggest liar?
    I am just shaking my head in disgust of your constant lies and misinformation on a daily basis.

  3. pnc r the biggest liars in guyana..u r the biggest liar on the blog site…tell pnc to tell the peole how yall used to win elections to rule or more like misrule for 28 years..u have no shame in defending your regimes that had its own people eating from the garbage heap.

  4. There were four LGE bills passed in Parliament and sent to Ramotar for his assent to make them laws. He assented to three but not the one that would grant full autonomy to local government organs to function independent of political interference by the central government via the LG Minister.
    What Nandlall refuses to address is the fact that Ramotar and the PPP have been exposed for the liars they are for promising in the PPP’s 2011 manifesto that LGE will be finally held within 12 months of 2011 Elections. After losing their parliamentary majority and feedback from their base was unfavorable, they came up with lies that the voters and then Gecom were not ready.
    The majority of Guyanese said they have no confidence in the PPP and now Parliament is saying the same thing. So whether it is GRE or LGE, the PPP is, facing the exit door.

  5. 97 That election was followed by massive social unrest, riots, violence, street protest, and arson, which resulted in a team from CARICOM making interventions.
    i asked 30 people back then why are they protesting and they said they have no idea..i asked them if PNC ever won an election in Guyana and they said “Yes” I asked them ti name the year PNC won a free fair transparent election and they all said PNC ruled for 28 years so they were winning.i asked them if they knew PNC support base is about 35%…well well well..if u see how dem leff wid dem mouth open..i then asked them if they believe Burnham and Hoyte really had 75% to 89% of this population behind them to vote them to power..U know what?? U really cant teach some folks..They said they dont care about that..If U see how Hammo Greed de watching when ah de asking..PNC dont want general or local ecections period..PNC want to rule by hook or crook so elections really dont matter to PNC.

  6. These are the facts, as outlined by the Minister, that a fair proportion of the unsuspecting public do not know. Much of what Mr Nandalall said was also mentioned several times by Mr Rohee but the anti government press failed to inform the public. The opposition, the blue caps, some foreign embassies etc want the public to believe the government alone is responsible for not holding LGE. I think they were successful.

    As to Granger and his “democracy” placards, there is only one conclusion one can come to: the “Hon” Granger operates as a robot. This guy, a newcomer to politics, will drive the final nail in the PNC coffin. I call on supporters of the PNC to remove him. You have other choices in Mr Greenidge.

  7. According to public information, there are bills in parliament to be passed concerning the platform for LGE to be held. So the AG is right in his statement “…the constitutional reform process would have reformed the local government structure…”

    Therefore the Government’s tactic seemingly is to delay the reform (bills not being passed by His Excellency) that the joint opposition has been fighting for more than a year ago and by extension, LGE. We just need to get it done and stop pointing fingers concerning evolution of the problem, its the morally correct thing to do.

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