By Fareeza Hanif
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Head of the E – Governance Project and member of the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), Alexei Ramotar is of the view that former President, Bharrat Jagdeo made a mistake in agreeing with former Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) to postpone Local Government Elections in 2010.
Ramotar [the son of President Donald Ramotar], was at the time participating on a panel discussion during the radio programme ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 FM on Sunday, May 18.
The other guests included, Former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Founder of Blue Caps, Clinton Urling and APNU Parliamentarian, James Bond.
In giving a historic background on local government elections, Ramotar noted that prior to the holding of the 2011 general elections, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was ready to call local government elections.
He added however, that it was the PNCR which asked for it to be postponed, something which the then President [Bharrat Jagdeo] should not have agreed to.
“In retrospect, I think Mr Jagdeo made a mistake there. Unfortunately what happened in the 2011 elections, there was a change in the dispensation and the now Opposition Party made massive changes to the agreement between the PPP and PNC. If you go back to the agreement between the PPP and PNC, you can have Local Government Elections tomorrow,” Ramotar said.
Meanwhile, APNU’s James Bond chastised Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker, who had stated that voters do not understand the local government process, thus why a date for the elections has not been set as yet.
In response to this, Bond said, “Is the Minister senile? Is he going to insult us by saying we don’t know what Local Government Elections is? It’s the lack of political will and laziness and apathy on the part of the ruling party in getting this out of the way.”
Bond noted that people of Guyana are powerless because of the lack of local government elections. He lamented the state of City Hall and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils.
Additionally, Urling also rejected the sentiments of the Local Government Minister.
“The Minister’s justification is inadequate…we’ve have four general elections, we were ready for that, why can’t we be ready for local government elections?”
Local government elections was last held in 1994.