Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2023, 20:55 by Denis Chabrol
Guyanese in the 70 neighbourhoods and 10 towns will go to the polls on June 12 to elect new councillors, despite opposition concerns that a several constituency boundaries have been changed to give the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) an advantage.
Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall has written to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Retired Justice Claudette Singh, appointing Monday, June 12, 2023 as the date for the conduct of Local Government Elections (LGE), government said.
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, speaking at a public meeting in North Ruimveldt, accused the PPP of gerrymandering a number of constituency boundaries.
Previously, LGE had been slated for March 13, 2023 but that date was eventually scrapped over concerns about the role of the Local Government Minister in determining constituency boundaries. GECOM Chief Election Officer Vishnu Persaud had also expressed worry that APNU+AFC supporters would have stayed away from the polls if issues concerning the voters’ lists had not been resolved.
Mr Dharamlall’s announcement was made hours after GECOM said it had reopened the process to provide a further opportunity for the submission of applications for approval of symbols for LGE.
They have until March 1, 2023 to do so- that is 21 days before Nomination Day.- to send a printed and electronic version of the symbol to the Commission.
GECOM said the symbols could submitted directly to the Office of the Chairman at 41High and Cowan Streets, Kingston,
Georgetown in sealed envelopes clearly marked, “Application for Symbol – Local Government Elections – 2023”. Alternatively, applications can be submitted via email at [email protected] or, in the case of outlying Local Authority Areas (LAAs), to the GECOM Registration Offices.
Political Parties, Voluntary Groups, and Individuals who have already applied for symbols for the upcoming Local Government Elections, and who would have received notification that their symbols were approved are not required to reapply, GECOM said.
Political Parties, Voluntary Groups, and Individual Candidates are required to submit, on Nomination Day, their respective lists of candidates accompanied by the relevant pre-approved symbol. In this regard, Political Parties, Voluntary Groups and, Individual Candidates are advised that their lists would not be accepted without a pre-approved symbol.
GECOM on Monday, February 13 began preparing Registers of Voters for LGE. In that regard, Offices of Assistant Electoral Registrars (AERs) have been established in each of the eighty (80) Local Authority Area (LAA).
During this exercise, any person who will be 18 years and older by the 22nd May, 2023, and is a Guyanese citizen by birth, descent, or naturalization, or is a citizen from a Commonwealth country living in Guyana for one year or more, can make a Claim to entry on the Register of Voters (RoV)o n or before 19th February, 2023 providing that he/she is not listed in the Preliminary List of Voters (PLV), which have been posted in every Constituency in the respective Local Authority Areas.