Gov’t to establish four new local authority areas for LGE 2018

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By Devina Samaroo

Even as government is preparing to establish four new local authority areas, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan does not believe the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is running out of time to prepare for the local government elections next year.

“His Excellency is on record repeatedly saying that under his watch local government elections will be held once they are constitutionally due,” Bulkan stated.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has already submitted 12 names to President David Granger for consideration for the position of the GECOM Chair, but the President has rejected all on the grounds that the list is unacceptable.

Jagdeo is in the process of submitting a next set of names and Bulkan is confident a Chairperson will be put in place in time for the elections even with three new Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and one new municipality underway. These are Mahdia, Kuru Kururu, Aranaputa and Baracara.

The Minister also noted that it is too early to determine what the next course of action would be in the event a chairperson is not appointed in time. However when asked by News Room what time would be considered too late for an appointment, the Minister said that question is best directed to the GECOM.

Bulkan also explained reasons for the delay in the establishment of the Local Government Commission which was meant to serve as an oversight body of local government organs. He said the Cabinet is still reviewing the nominees which were submitted by the Ministry and the President but assured that the process will be completed and the Commission set up by year end.

According to the Minister, the next local government election is legally due on December 7, 2018.

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