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Opposition supports selective local govt election for Georgetown

The parliamentary opposition and the Mayor of Georgetown, Hamilton Green on Tuesday voiced support for Local Government Elections to be held only in the city, following confirmation that it would be legal to do so.

A senior administrative official of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has said that the commissioners would soon meet with political parties to advise them of that holding municipal elections in Georgetown only was possible.

Shadow Local Government Minister, Ronald Bulkan said that while A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is keen on having countrywide local government election, his parliamentary coalition would welcome Georgetown residents going to the polls ahead of the 70 other town and neighbourhood councils. “We support the democratic process and if they want to have an early poll for Georgetown, I can’t see APNU having a problem with that,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Amid calls by the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) for the Mayor and Councillors, who were all elected in 1994, to be removed and replaced by an Interim Management Committee (IMC), Bulkan warned that the President Donald Ramotar administration would not be allowed to “foist unelected officials on the city.”

The PPP-Civic led administration has repeatedly shrugged off foreign and domestic calls for local government elections to be held, saying that Guyana was not ready for those polls.

Echoing Bulkan’s support for local government elections to be held only in Georgetown as a worst case scenario was Vice Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo. He welcomed that move as a viable option. “We are ready to go….It is better to have elections in one city than not to have elections anywhere at all. It would be a better option than to have a hand-picked IMC because then they would not be accountable to the people and you want to start from the basis of restoring accountability,” he said.

City Mayor, Hamilton Green similarly expressed support for selective local elections in Georgetown. “I think the people of Georgetown are entitled to renew a mandate because the capital of Guyana is an important centre of activity,” he said.

He restated accusations against the PPP-Civic of always seeking to control Georgetown which has been the traditional base of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) and his Good and Green Guyana  (GGG).