[www.inewsguyan.com] – President Donald Ramotar told residents of Essequibo that he wants to Local Government Elections (LGE) to be held as soon as possible, according to a bulletin issued by the Government Information Agency (GINA).
During a meeting with the residents to address rice farmers’ issues on Sunday (July 13), the President explained that the holding of LGE is also stated in the manifesto of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
However, despite the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the passage of the relevant legislation to facilitate the holding of the elections, the President’s Local Government Minister is yet to announce a date, as mandated by the constitution.
GECOM’s Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally last evening clarified that GECOM is prepared to conduct the elections once a date is announced by the government.
Dr Surujbally also trashed a recent statement by PPP GECOM Commissioners who had noted that GECOM was not prepared to host the elections. The last LGE was held in 1994.
In February this year, the Opposition joined forces to pass the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill for the elections should be held before August 1, 2014.
However, this Bill was not assented to by the President, who had stated then that GECOM was not ready for the elections.
The Gov’t has been accused by the Opposition of delaying the elections on purpose because it fears losing.
Meanwhile, PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee told iNews last night that the a date will be announced when the Party feels satisfied that GECOM is ready to conduct the polls.
“It’s ok for the commission to issue a statement about their level of readiness; I don’t think there ought to be any confusion, why should we be at one with GECOM at every stage of the process? It’s not necessary, we have our own views about the state of readiness.”
When asked if the Party trust GECOM, he responded: “It’s not a question of trust, it’s a question of what we understand is happening on the ground if we were to trust GECOM blindly or slavishly then we would not be doing our work as a political party, we have to do our work, we have to satisfy ourselves.”