Reg. 8 Chairman, Vice Chair finally sworn in after delay of five months

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Those at the helm of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) were finally sworn in on Monday after months of delay due to political issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown. Elected Chairman Headley Pio and Vice Chairman Claris Franciso took their oaths before President Irfaan Ali.

Dr Ali, during brief remarks, congratulated the new chairman and vice chairman and noted that Region Eight plays an integral role in the national development of the country.

“I wish them well in service to the people of Region Eight. Of course they come from a region which has the smallest population in our country but a region that is extremely rich in natural resources, a region that plays a key part in our ecosystem, our biodiversity system, and of course, an important part in the low carbon development strategy,” the President said.

Additionally, President Ali said the region will see great development and improvement in the health care, education, social services and transportation sectors.

The President also revealed that the government will be working to ensure the region benefits from sustainable livelihood programmes and will also boost the local economy as it relates to food security and agriculture.

The delay in constituting the RDC was as a result of a number of proposed councilors testing positive for COVID-19; it was further delayed with political issues with the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP).

The LJP had submitted Jimmy James as their candidate to be appointed on the council. However, after James had tested positive for COVID-19, the party had initially written the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to replace him with a new candidate, who was identified as Claris Francisco.

The party had written GECOM since September last year and was this year granted approval to replace James as their candidate, paving the way for the Council to be sworn in.

The A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) were both awarded seven seats each on the 15-member Council and the LJP would hold the balance of power on the council. The APNU+AFC secured a total of 2,091 votes while the PPP got 2,050 votes and the LJP secured 464 votes.

 

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