Parties front youths for Local Gov’t Elections

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Political Parties, Voluntary Groups, and Individuals today submitted their Lists of Candidates to contest this year’s Local Government Elections.

The major political parties were seen out in their numbers as they marched the streets with supporters to the various offices of the elections body countrywide.

What seems to be most common in the Local Government Elections (LGE) race is the line-up of young candidates.

On Friday, Nominations Day, the seven parties and 21 groups along with the 33 individual candidates whose symbols were approved, had to submit their list of candidates.

The persons vying to lead their towns and communities will be elected on November 12, in the country’s second local elections since a change of government in 2015.

At the Better Hope/ La Bonne Intention (LBI) Neighbourhood Democratic Council, the two major parties contesting are APNU and the PPP/C.

While the APNU has its eyes set on increasing its Councilors on the NDC which is currently dominated by the opposition, the PPP/C is hoping to maintain its force to push the Central government to do more.

Currently, sitting in the council are three representatives for APNU and 15 from the PPP/C.

Head of the APNU’s list in the area, Sheneika Haynes, told the News Room that the party is looking “to increase our number.

Head of the APNU’s list in the area, Sheneika Haynes

“We have increased the number of constituencies we are contesting this year to up our representation as well our PR (Proportional Representation) list is wider this time to ensure that,” she stated.

She added that there are many things within the community which needs to be fixed.

“The children have to play on the streets and we are looking to fix that issue,” she said.

PPP/C representative, Zaman Shaw

PPP/C representative, Zaman Shaw, lambasted the time taken for the NDC to receive its annual subvention from the Central Government, but he said the evidence if there of what the NDC was still able to accomplish.

“We have had the majority at this NDC and we hope to retain that,” he added.

In the city where the major political parties usually dominate, Horizon and Star, Youth for Local Government and 12 individuals are contesting.

The APNU’s representative who is the current Deputy Mayor Akeem Peter was asked about what can be expected different this time since the current Council has had to face many criticisms since being elected in 2016.

APNU’s representative who is the current Deputy Mayor Akeem Peter

With a majority of young candidates, Peter said the party is “aiming for healthier communities, safer communities, stronger communities which strive on cohesion.

“The Mayor and City Council and Councillors will be focusing on those issues moving forward,” said Greene, who is APNU’s Georgetown representative and the current Deputy Mayor.

Among the major controversies which faced the City Council was the approval of the Parking Meter Project and the award of several questionable contracts, among others.

On the other hand, the AFC which is for the first time since forming a Coalition with APNU going to the polls alone, said it will be pushing for greater transparency. A representative of the party, Michael Leonard, said efforts will be made to have statutory meetings live streamed.

AFC rep, Michael Leonard

“We want accountability; people must be able to see what their Councilors did…it is important that the citizens know what is happening at their municipality or NDC,” he noted.

The AFC Councilors on the current council have over the past two and a half years criticized certain decisions of the body led by the APNU and even tabled a no-confidence motion against the Town Clerk.

Meanwhile, a PPP/C representative who is also an elected councillor for the city, Bishram Kuppen boasted that the 15 candidates selected by his party are a true representation of the people within the communities and “they are all experienced, ready, willing and able to go into City Hall and overhaul City Hall.”

PPP/C representative, Bishram Kuppen

The political parties vying for seats on the 80 local authority areas  are A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Alliance for Change (AFC), People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), United Party for National Growth and Development (UPNDG), United Republican Party (URP), Guyana National Congress (GNC) and the GNS Party.

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