[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar must remember his promises and respect the National Assembly, so said Opposition Leader David Granger during his weekly press briefing on Friday (August 29).
Granger recalled that President Ramotar, during the run up to the 2011 general elections, had made a solemn promise in his party’s election Manifesto to hold local government elections within one year.
“Nearly three years have passed since elections were held and Mr. Donald Ramotar became president. He has failed to keep his promise on local government election. Will he keep his promises on anything at all?” Granger asked.
He went onto state that the President’s record on local government is an open book for all to read. “President Ramotar, as PPP General Secretary in 2010, was reported to have expressed his willingness to have Local Government elections under the old system. He added, reforms could be worked on and introduced when completed,” Granger said adding that “his clear intention is to maintain the old system.
In a response, late Friday evening, the Head of State said “yes I had made that promise, but I also said that because of the uncertainties that had developed in the body politics of the society that is what prevented me.
The President says it is very strange that the position will move a no – confidence motion in the National Assembly, which signals their intent to go to general elections, and still talk about local government elections.
“We have to make up our minds what actually we want,” he said; adding that either way he is ready and prepared for both local and general elections.
Granger said too that President Ramotar has displayed gross disrespect for the National Assembly by refusing to assent to a Bill which was approved after careful scrutiny and arduous work. “He is aware also that the PPP/C, while he was a member of the National Assembly when his party enjoyed a majority, repeatedly passed amendments for twelve consecutive years since 1997 to defer the holding of Local Government Elections for the expressed purpose of completing the reform of the Local Government System in Guyana as required by the Guyana Constitution.”
The Opposition Leader said that there is abundant evidence of Ramotar’s continuing resistance to local democracy; adding that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) for over two decades has demonstrated its unwillingness to introduce Local Government reform which was considered necessary to give effect to Article 12 of the Guyana Constitution; which states: “Local Government by freely elected representatives of the people is an integral part of the democratic organisation of the State.”