President touts greater teamwork as 10 Mayors, Deputies take oath   

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President Irfaan Ali pledged greater collaboration between central government and local government bodies as Mayors and Deputy Mayors for the country’s 10 municipalities were sworn in on Friday.

With a total of 90 local democratic organs across the country, President Irfaan Ali expressed a keen interest in working closely with all 10 municipalities, 10 Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) and 70 Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).

“It is for this reason that you will see an enhanced engagement between central and local government,” the President said during the ceremony held at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive office.

But while the central government has extended the olive branch for a relationship that has been often characterised by confrontation, President Ali said the local government organs must also align themselves with the government’s transformative agenda.

President Irfaan Ali with the mayors, deputy mayors and other officials (Photo: Office of the President/January 15, 2021)

“We must consult and share ideas so that the people of this country get the best service,” he added.

The Oath of Office, which the elected officials took before the President, officially empowers them to carry out tasks in keeping with their office’s responsibility for the next two years.  Mayoral elections were held across the 10 towns at the end of 2020.

Dr Ali said among the urgent issues that need to be addressed are tax rates, outstanding audits, and sustainability and viability of all councils.

One major deficiency, he said, is the length of time it takes for approval of building permits.  To this end, Dr Ali has proposed a single-window approval system to ensure greater ease of doing business.

Those who took the Oath on Friday are Chris Phang and Carolyn Robinson as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mabaruma; Rajendra Prabhulall and Lorna Fitzallen of Anna Regina; Ubraj Narine and Alfred Mentor of Georgetown; Winifred Heywood and Wainwright Mc Intosh of New Amsterdam; Dave Budhu and Roydel Lewis of Rose Hall; Winston Roberts and Imran Amin of Corriverton; Gifford Marshall and Arita Embleton of Bartica;  David Adams and Juewayne Mendonca of Mahdia; John Macedo and Debra King of Lethem and Waneka Arrindell and Wainwright Bethune of Linden.

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