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PPP opposes moves to allow bankrupt persons to contest Local Govt elections

PPPC Parliamentarian Charles Ramson Jr.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Wednesday objected to erasing of a section of a local government law that could allow bankrupt persons to be elected or hold office and bars.

Opposition back-bencher Charles Ramson Jr. said the Local Authorities Act seeks to guard indebted persons from being tempted to dip their hands in the coffers of the local government organs.

“It is because when you assume public office, you understandably assume that office with the power that is proposed in that life and being aware if human frailty or the possibility of negligence or the possibility of temptation… the temptation exists because we are not perfect creatures, the temptation exists that you will use that public office for corruption and malfeasance,” he said.

Ramson also observed that the proposed removal of one section without addressing other sections that deal with insolvency. He accused government of seeking to bar recipients of Public Assistance from holding public office in contravention of Guyana’s Constitution that prohibits “discriminatory distinctions.”

The PPP newcomer parliamentarian noted that Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has not given an explanation or a reason for removing the provision and added that that was good enough reason for taking the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill 2015 to be sent to a Select Committee.

The PPP also objected to amendments that would allow a 15-day period for the declaration of results, and the refusal of a recount by the Returning Officers. 

But Attorney General Basil Williams says the amendment seeks to prevent indefinite requests for recounts to the Presiding Officers.