By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman has hinted at the possibility of a date being announced for the conduct of Local Government Elections (LGE) during the 2015 Budget debates which are set to commence in August.
Trotman made the disclosure at a post-cabinet press briefing on Wednesday July 29, where he underscored the APNU+AFC administration’s desire to have LGE by the end of 2015.
“We would like to have local government elections as quickly as possible…We believe that it is possible before the 31st of December,” said Trotman.
In the past, GECOM would have stated that it would need at least six months to prepare for the hosting of LGE, but Trotman asserted that the government is working and will continue to work towards naming a date, indicating that the Minister of Communities is anxious to do so.
On Wednesday, July 08, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan met with GECOM officials including Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally and Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield to discuss issues relative to the holding of Local Government polls.
According to a release from the Ministry of Communities “officials of the Ministry and those of GECOM expressed optimism and confidence that the respective agencies are capable of disposing of any outstanding issues related to the holding of LGE, including, but not limited to delineation of the boundaries of local government organs, wherever current circumstances indicate the desirability for such adjustments; and updating any relevant legislation, as required.”
When contacted, Deputy Chief Election Officer, Vishnu Persaud, told iNews, “GECOM is working towards Local Government Elections by the end of this year,” while noting that the setting of a date lies in the hands of the President and Minister Bulkan.