By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Executive Member of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Joseph Harmon has challenged People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary Clement Rohee to provide empirical evidence to support his claims that citizens are not ready for Local Government Elections.
“Rohee had said GECOM was not ready and that has been debunked, now he is saying the people are not ready, I don’t know what people he is talking about… Mr. Rohee should come and say to us, when I say the people I mean more than 70 percent of the population and this is so because I have empirical evidence to that effect” Harmon stated.
Rohee had claimed at a press conference on Tuesday, March 18 that based on the PPP/C’s assessment, the Party has concluded that the citizenry were not ready for Local Government Elections.
He argued that there was still a lot of public education to be done on the new systems that are in place. Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Dr. Steve Surujballyrecently revealed that the Commission is fully prepared and committed to move formally into elections mode with immediacy, if and when it is mandated to conduct Local Government Elections.
Dr. Surujbally explained however, that the Commission first needs to receive the date for the holding of those elections from the Minister of Local Government as mandated by law.
To this end, the government has come under heavy pressure for not announcing a date for these elections. Both the APNU and PPP had stated that they are both ready for any elections.
The National Assembly recently passed legislation calling for the holding of Local Government Elections on or before August 1, 2014. There were also calls from several Heads of Missions and the private sector for Local Government elections to be held this year, as was done in years past.