The Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) today slammed the Government for what the party referred to as a complete disrespect for the legal procedures governing the relationship between the Minister of Communities and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).
In a press release issued earlier today, the party pointed to the “arrogant and spiteful behaviour” by the Communities Minister over the alleged “withholding of Ministerial approval” for budgets submitted by some NDCs, particularly those controlled by the PPP/C.
“The NDCs are being financially stifled by the APNU+AFC coalition administration thus preventing them from executing their functions in the interest of the people who elected the Council members to administer the affairs of their respective Local Authority Areas (LAAs).
“Residents in the affected NDCs are urgently awaiting the cleaning of trenches and canals. Works to be done to internal roads, environmental sanitation, maintenance issues and other civil works are badly needed in these communities” the statement added.
The following is the full statement issued by the PPP/C:
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) condemns the Granger administration in general and the Minister of Communities in particular for their total and complete disrespect for the legal procedures governing the relationship between the Minister of Communities and the newly elected Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).
In this respect, the withholding of Ministerial approval for budgets submitted by the NDCs is a blatant manifestation of the arrogant and spiteful behaviour of the Minister to punish the people in those NDCs controlled by the PPP/C.
The NDCs are being financially stifled by the APNU+AFC coalition administration thus preventing them from executing their functions in the interest of the people who elected the Council members to administer the affairs of their respective Local Authority Areas (LAAs).
Residents in the affected NDCs are urgently awaiting the cleaning of trenches and canals. Works to be done to internal roads, environmental sanitation, maintenance issues and other civil works are badly needed in these communities.
The problem is further compounded by the failure of Gecom and the Minister to discharge their respective responsibilities to bring an end to the deadlock affecting the six (6) Local Authorities.
In these communities, residents are up in arms against the government and Gecom for refusing to find a solution to the prevailing situation. The PPP, for its part, has sought to enter into negotiations with the Ministry of the Presidency with a view to resolving the situation.
Many of the NDCs have savings already committed to be spent on public works and/or community projects in their respective communities.
Residents in the NDCs voted for their elected representatives to improve, as a matter of urgency, their environmental and infrastructural surroundings as was promised during the campaign in the run-up to the Local Government Elections. Three months after the Local Government Elections from all appearances, the political rhetoric emanating from the APNU+AFC about; “completing the circle of democratic governance in Guyana” and being able to; “deliver something that the people of the country have craved for two decades” have turned out to be meaningless and self-fulfilling prophecies.
The APNU+AFC, contrary to all its high-sounding rhetoric, is clearly obstructing progress in the communities where there are Local Authority Bodies controlled by PPP/C Councillors.
Moreover, it has now become obvious to all that the Granger administration has embarked on a studied policy of frustrating the activities of the PPP/C controlled NDCs. And APNU+AFC’s so-called “democratic renewal” of the lives of the newly elected Councils has been made a mockery by withholding Ministerial approval for spending monies already in the possession of the NDCs.
The NDCs will never be able to “work for the good of their communities” when in actuality the same APNU+AFC who spouted these words continues to pursue policies to the contrary effectively blocking the development of the communities.
In this respect, it is anybody’s guess when disbursement of monies to NDCs will take place having regard to the fact that budget 2016 was approved since February of the same year.
Government that listens to the people must be a central principle of Guyanese democracy, however, local democracy is being eroded by a handful of self-serving individuals who strut the corridors of power at the Ministry of the Presidency and a larger number of either spiteful or bullying Ministers and advisors who are given a free reign to ride roughshod over the communities supportive of the PPP/C.