Local Democracy, the empowering of the Guyanese people to manage the affairs of the communities in which they live, is an idea of whose time has come.
The PPP/C Government has over the last ten years been fighting a rearguard action to prevent the liberation of local democratic organs from the tyranny of its local government ministers.
Enshrined in Chapter 7 of our Constitution, the aspiration for autonomous local democratic organs must engender a new epoch. Minister Ganga Persaud and his colleagues cannot prevent this transformation.
APNU calls on the PPP/C to “LET OUR PEOPLE GO.”
Throughout the life of the Special Select Committee which comprises of PPP members – Minister Ganga Persaud, Gail Teixeira, Bibi Shaddick, Neendkumar; APNU members – Basil Williams (Chairman of the Committee), Amna Ally, Joseph Harmon, Ronald Bulkan; and AFC member – Dr. V. Ramayya, tasked with reviewing the four Local Government Bills, Minister Ganga Persaud and his colleagues have been obstructionist, with many specious attempts to undermine and delay its progress.
Frequently absent from meetings, his latest claim that the committee’s work is ‘not done,’ is another fallacy, and reveals that ‘he is on a frolic of his own.’ APNU reiterates that the scrutinizing of the four Bills was completed by the committee on the 14th June 2013.
The Parliamentary Committees Division and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel of the Attorney General’s Chambers were to collaborate in compiling the four reports embodying the four Bills.
At the meeting of the 28th June 2013 the committee vetted the Reports including the Bills to ensure that its previous decisions were accurately recorded and to effect any corrections.
The PPP/C members (two were absent) made representations to reopen the composition of the Local Government Commission, and a few provisions of the Local Government (Amendment) Bill which were voted for by APNU and the AFC, Minister Ganga Persaud being absent from that meeting.
APNU and the AFC members voted against reopening the composition of the Local Government Commission but agreed to reverse their decisions on the provisions of the Local Government (Amendment) Bill as requested by Minister Ganga Persaud, in good faith.
It was agreed by the committee including the Minister that a final meeting would be held on Friday 5th July 2013 to ensure the corrections and changes are accurately reflected in the Reports covering the four Bills. The four reports containing the four Bills will be presented to the National Assembly at the next sitting on Thursday 18th July 2013.