Opposition blasted for trying to delay LGE with court action 

– Minister of Communities says creation of new Local Authority Areas aimed at increasing community involvement

– confident charges will be proven frivolous and without merit

– Government acted in accordance with Article 12 of Constitution with creation of new LAAs

DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 14, 2018

Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan today blasted the opposition PPP/C of trying to delay the hosting of Local Government Elections (LGE), with its recent court action.

The Minister is being challenged in the High Court for the creation of new local authority areas and the restructuring of several others.

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan

The application was made two days ago by Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) commissioner, Bibi Shaddick, who is contending that the changes were made without enough consultation with stakeholders.

According to Minister Bulkan, the allegation levelled against him is not that he acted “unlawfully but rather that I have acted undemocratically.”

The court action, he noted, is being supported by Article 13 of the Constitution, which speaks to inclusionary democracy. The Minister described this move as “ironic” given this Administration’s commitment to inclusionary democracy.

He said Government, when it created the new LAAs, acted in accordance with Article 12 of the Constitution which states that Local Government Elections by freely elected persons form an integral part of the democratic organisation of the State.

The Communities Minister said Government is “not concerned” with the court action and believes it is designed to deny citizens in selected areas from enjoying their democratic right of participating in the LGE.

The move, Minister Bulkan said, to establish the new LAAs is geared at increasing community engagement, involvement and electoral participation in local government.

He expressed confidence that the charges will be proven frivolous and without merit.

The November 12, LGE will see the participation of 9 new LAAs, 8 new Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and the township of Mahdia, the Minister added.

Stacy Carmichael

Image: Jameel Mohamed