Local Authorities Bill signals strong inconsistency, duplicitous nature of Govt (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,The failure of the Coalition Government to allow the Local Government System to function properly is certainly hurting the Government. The Ministry of Communities is trying desperately to influence the Local Authorities and influence the staff politically. The staff at the Regional Democratic Councils and the NDCs are daily being coerced into doing the dirty work of the PNC. More serious is the fact that the staff are encouraged not to support the work programmes of the various councils.The hiring of staff to work in the Local Authority Areas is blatantly heavily influenced by the PNC arm of the APNU. Many of these staff do not have the necessary basic qualifications: no CXC English or Mathematics, and many Overseers cannot ‘string’ two sentences. The minutes of the meetings are not properly completed month after month because of the lack of capacity of the persons catapulted as Overseers. Budgets are often not sent on time to the Region because of the incompetent preparation and lack of ‘will’ to get the work done by the administrative staff.As for the Guyana Elections Commission’s readiness to hold Local Government Elections before the end of this year, that is highly questionable. Recently, the Chairman of GECOM said the elections body is ready for Local Government Elections, and that only the date needs to be announced. Well, maybe an overdose of senility is affecting not only the Chairman, but most of the Commission’s members and the entire Secretariat.How could the Guyana Elections Commission be ready for elections when it would be embarking on another round of continuous registration later in the month? Those transactions would have to be taken into account before an Official List of Electors is produced for the election. Importantly, lots of work have to be done after the next cycle concludes in three months’ time, after the commencement.New registrants and those attaining the age of 18 would have to be added to the list from the National Register of Registrants. Further, deletions would also have to be done based on upheld objections, and the list would have to be properly scrutinized before actually been put in use.Based on the statements, however, it seems that the Elections Commission would be pushing towards the elections with a list that would be less than a month old, which would not give enough time for proper scrutiny. Yet, moves are being made to amend the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2000 to facilitate the implementation of continuous registration, so that there could be an electoral list which shall be in force and be routinely updated every six months. Before the considered amendment, the validity of the list was of three-month periods.Some analysts see the conduct of the Local Government Elections, due for later in this year, as a testing ground for the planned rigging of the 2020 General and Regional Elections. The voices of the people will speak again.Respectfully,Neil Kumar.last_img read more