Local Gov’t Elections for November 12

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Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has announced November 12 as the date for this year’s Local Government Elections (LGE).

The Minister made this announcement at the ongoing National Toshaos Conference (NTC) where he said the document is being prepared for the Official Gazette.

The order is to be gazetted today and $2.9B is allocated to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for preparations for all elections, which have begun.

Local Government Elections was held in 2016 after two decades.

There were a number of independent groups and individual candidates but particularly in the capital city where they were able to get seats on the Mayor and City Council.

Unlike 2016, however, the elections this year will be held at a time when the Local Government Commission has the power to deal with cases of a tie.

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the APNU+AFC tied in the town of Mabaruma and various Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in 2016. The issue caused conflicts since a second election was not called within the constituencies.

At that elections, just two years after the 2015 General and Regional Elections which ousted the PPP/C from office after 23 years, the opposition party was able to gain a majority vote of 123, 564 under the proportional representation (PR) component of the elections compared to 98,670 for APNU+AFC.

In the municipalities, APNU+AFC won the popular vote in Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Mabaruma, Bartica and Lethem. Anna Regina, Rose Hall and Corriverton went to the PPP/C.

PPP/C took control of 43 councils in addition to three NDCs for which there were no contests while the APNU+AFC took the popular vote in 11 NDCs in addition to one for which there was a no contest. Only two NDCs were won by independent groups.

The turnout at the 2016 elections, however, was below 50%. The APNU+AFC is hoping that it can bring that figure closer to 100% at this year’s elections and hopefully increase its chances of gaining a majority vote.

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