In areas where there were draws after the recently concluded Local Government Polls, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan has stepped in and named the persons that would be elected Mayor and Chairpersons.
Reports have confirmed that instead of duly applying the law, Minister Bulkan went ahead and named the Chairpersons for some 5 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Mabaruma Municipality where there were ties.
Chapter 28:01 Section 13 (4) says “where at an election under subsection two or more councillors secure an equal number of votes the Minister shall direct which of those councillors shall perform the functions of the office of mayor; and that councillor shall assume and perform those functions until such time as the Mayor or deputy Mayor as the case may be is able to act.”
This is in the case where a Mayor resigns or is unable to perform the duties.
However, People’s Progressive Party nominated Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioners, Sase Gunraj and Bibi Shadick at an emergency press conference sought to press a case that the Communities Minister acted illegally.
Gunraj said Section 13 (6) provides that in the event of an equality of votes in favour of more than one candidate, the Town Clerk shall appoint a date for the election of a Mayor by the people. This date shall not be later than December 28 of the same year.
“That has to be a very worrying development. If that is indeed the case then it is an attempt to usurp the functions of Guyana Elections Commission,” Gunraj stated.
PPP Commissioner insisted that GECOM should take the reins and hold another election in the areas where there were draws.