[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader David Granger, in an address to the nation today, says President Donald Ramotar is presiding over an arrogant administration; saying it has systematically underfunded local democratic organs.
The Opposition Leader believes the President’s attitude to local government has resulted in a near-total collapse in local governance; pointing to the situation where the Country’s towns , neighbourhoods and villages suffer from unmanageable mountains of solid waste; unsanitary markets; unsightly surroundings and unlit and unsafe streets and alleyways.
“The Guyanese people face a grave threat to their constitutional liberties and privileges. The time has come for all good people to demand their ‘inalienable’ right to elect the persons they want to represent them in their towns, villages and neighbourhoods,” he added.
Granger’s address follows a letter where he called on President Ramotar to name a date for the holding of the long overdue local government elections by September 15, 2014.
But according to Granger, President Ramotar and the People’s Progressive Party Civic – PPPC – administration have tried every device to derail the legislative process and to delay local government elections.
“The President and his Party have no interest in conducting local government elections. They have no intention of complying with the mandate of the National Assembly. They have no inclination to deepen local democracy. They have no incentive to heed local and international opinion. They have no intention to respect the spirit and letter of our supreme law.”
He said too that President needs to understand that local government elections, like general and regional elections, are a constitutional necessity. “He cannot postpone them indefinitely at his pleasure. Elections are not a favour or gift that the President bestows whenever he chooses to do so.”
Granger recalled too that, the President has refused to assent to the Local Government (Amendment) Bill. He did assent to the Local Government Commission Bill but his appointed Minister of Local Government has not issued the ‘Commencement Order’ to operationalise the Commission. Both bills were passed by the National Assembly on 7th August, 2013 thereby paving the way for elections to be held. The President, also, has not assented to the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill which mandated that elections be held by 1st August 2014.
“We the people must now take any and all lawful actions to defend our local democracy, to uphold the constitution and to secure our civil rights. We must combine the efforts, energies and enterprise of the entire nation in our campaign to restore local democracy to Guyana,” Granger urged.