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Granger pledges respect for constitution as Local Gov’t Commissioners sworn in 

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After a prolonged delay, the country’s first Local Government Commission has been established and President David Granger said the development signifies his administration’s commitment to good governance and upholding the constitution.

The Commissioners were on Monday sworn in by President David Granger during a simple ceremony at State House. Three commissioners were nominated by the President; they are Joan Ann Ramascindo, Mortimer Mingo, and Clement Corlette.

Three were nominated by the parliamentary opposition.; they are Carol Sooba, Norman Whittaker, and Clinton Collymore.

Andrew Garnett was nominated through a parliamentary process and AFC General Secretary Marlon Williams was nominated by the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan in consultation with the local government organs.

President Granger, in brief remarks, said the swearing in of the Commission signifies government’s commitment to good governance.

Granger also said this Commission will now facilitate the reinforcement of local democracy.

“The establishment of the local government commission ensures further that our constitution and the rights which it protects are respected … the principle objectives of local government are to involve as many persons as possible in the management and development of communities and neighbourhoods in which they live and to promote the environmental, economical, cultural and social well-being of citizens. The establishment of the local government commission and the oversight which it will provide over the local government system will safeguard, will strength and will promote these objectives,” the Head of State said.

Minister Bulkan said the first order of business for the Commission will be to elect a chairperson and deputy chairperson from among the eight commissioners. They will also have to hire and appoint a secretary and other necessary staff.

Meanwhile, Minister Bulkan said the AFC General Secretary was nominated after consultations with an organization which has little participation from the PPP even though that political party controls the majority of local government organs.

“The institution that I am aware of that governs local government organs, the Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM) and hence my discussion took place with the [GAM] in the selection of my nominee,” Bulkan noted.

The Local Government Commission is mandated to deal with a range of issues, including hiring and firing of staff and resolving disputes of the country’s Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council and other towns.

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