The Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has expressed outrage over what the party referred to as the ‘illegal’ appointment of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons in the six (6) tied Local Authority Areas (LAA) subsequent to the March 18th, Local Government Elections.
In a press statement issued this afternoon, the party stated that it intends to pursue this matter aggressively including immediate litigation and protests against the Minister of Communities.
Here is the full statement:
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is on record condemning the resort of the Minister of Communities in illegally appointing Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons in the six (6) tied Local Authority Areas (LAA) subsequent to the March 18th, Local Government Elections.
The PPP is outraged by the illegal, unaccountable, non-transparent actions of the Minister of Communities. This pattern of behaviour continues the practices of the David Granger Administration.
Subsequent to that March 18th Local Government Elections, the PPP, concerned about the conflict surrounding the electoral procedures to break the deadlock on the elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons, obtained the advice of their lawyers. That advice that was disclosed called for by-elections for the top positions in the tied LAAs once the deadlock was declared.
Concerned about the role of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in the ongoing electoral procedures, the PPP sought GECOM’s position. On Friday, April 1, 2016, GECOM’s initial response concurred with the legal advice offered to the PPP. The Chief Executive Officer of GECOM actually undertook to brief the Minister of Communities accordingly.
Recognising the significant logistics of by-elections, the PPP offered to negotiate with the governing Coalition. The terms discussed included rotation of the two (2) top positions in the municipality and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) annually, with the plurality being used to determine the distribution of the LAAs whose top positions would be shared between the two sides.
On Sunday, April 3, 2016 the two (2) negotiators PPP Gail Teixeira and Amna Ally from the governing Coalition met. The representative of the ruling Coalition rejected the earlier terms, insisted on no rotations, plurality governing the split of LAAs between the two (2) sides and the service for the entire term of office for the Councils.
Alternatively, in the context of a rejection by the PPP of the demands of the governing Coalition, Amna Ally disclosed that the Minister of Communities would appoint the top positions in all six (6) of those tied LAAs.
By Monday April 4th, 2016, the Minister of Communities in violation of the law commenced the appointments and completed them by Tuesday, April 5th 2016, even in those where they had not gain a majority of popular votes in those LAAs.
On Tuesday, April 5th, 2016, the Party finally received GECOM’s response to its request for information on the GECOM’s position in which GECOM merely disclosed it was studying the matter.
The PPP intends to pursue this matter aggressively including immediate litigation and protests against the Minister of Communities and his illegal decision by aggrieved stakeholders at the Local Authority Areas.