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PPP: Kick out City Council, put in Interim Management Committee

The Mayor and Councillors holding their meeting in City Hall’s yard last week

In the wake of several weeks of uproar and legal wrangling between the Town Clerk, Carol Sooba and most of the Councillors of Georgetown, the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) on Saturday called for the Council to be removed and replaced with an Interim Management Committee (IMC).

“The PPP demands the removal of Hamilton Green and the entire City Council and its replacement by an Interim Management Committee,” said the party in a statement.

The PPP’s call for an IMC came less than one week after the Councillors, claiming that they were locked out of the Chamber by Sooba, held a meeting in City Hall’s yard and passed a motion that she was no longer Town Clerk and that Royston King is the duly appointed person. The Councillors have since taken steps for Sooba’s signature to be removed from the municipality’s bank accounts.

The PPP said the attacks against Sooba smacked of racism and political bullyism. Sooba is of East Indian Guyanese ancestry. Most of the councillors and the administration are Guyanese of African descent.

The party credited Sooba with unearthing mounds of corruption since she took over as Acting Town Clerk last year July. “The PPP has noted that the de facto Town Clerk has been unearthing heaps of corrupt and self-enriching activities being carried out through the underground economy run by a small clique,” states the PPP.

Mayor Hamilton Green was urged by the PPP to cease going after the Acting Town Clerk and get on with the business of managing the city.  Green is “advised to put the resources and energies that he is using to advance his game of witch-hunt against Sooba into meaningful use rather than the divisive policies he and his ilk are currently carrying out.”

In recent months, a Green-led group of Councillors has been challenging the actions and legitimacy of the Acting Town Clerk. The controversy recently intensified when Royston King, a qualified applicant for the post, successfully challenged the Local Government Minister’s decision in the High Court to appoint Sooba the substantive Town Clerk although she is unqualified.

Government has since appealed the court ruling and  maintained that the Minister enjoys the right to appoint the Town Clerk in the absence of a Local Government Commission.