Youthful energies, ideas needed to re-energise the local gov’t system- Min. Bulkan

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, June 08, 2018

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan is challenging the nation’s youths to play a role in the upcoming Local Government Election (LGE) that goes beyond casting their votes.

He issued the call today at the launch of the Government Public Awareness and Stakeholders Education Project, in the Parliament Buildings’ compound. The project was launched with an exhibition under the theme ‘Local Democracy: A catalyst for Community and local development.’

Minister Bulkan said the energy and ideas of young people are integral to re-energising the local government system.

“Youths, I encourage you to not only cast your votes at the upcoming elections but to get involved in the management of your communities. This is an opportunity for you to sharpen your leadership skills,” Minister Bulkan charged.

The three complementary objectives of the awareness project are the education of various officials, community groups and non-governmental organisations on the local government system; to increase the participation of citizens in local government and governance and to enlighten citizens on the intended role of local government as a pillar of national development.

In its bid to ensure that citizens’ rights to democracy are secured and maintained, the government is broadening and extending the system of local democracy to other parts of Guyana.

Minister Bulkan noted that “Local government is seen as the important plank in the national development matrix. Its effectiveness is inextricably linked to the solution or to enhancing social cohesion…empowered communities are inseparable to strengthen our democracy and are at the front end of any system of innovation, growth, economic and social development and the prosperity of our nation.”

President the Guyana Association of Mayors (GAM), Carwyn Holland, explained that GAM municipalities possess a wealth of resources to provide services, but it is critical that all stakeholders and citizens become involved in the delivery of these services in their communities.

“Many people are unaware of their rights to become involved. Municipalities are working to play a critical role in sustainability and resilience of their respective communities…This mandate requires the involvement of all stakeholders. We recognise that the more people become aware of democracy, (the more) they will contribute to this value,” Holland explained.

The awareness project is the first of a series of sensitisation activities slated. This year’s LGEs will mark the first time in Guyana’s history that successive

Local Government Elections have been held after a 23-year absence under the previous administration. Eight new Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and one new township will participate in the upcoming LGE. The Order to allow for this has already been issued and is in the process of being gazette

By: Ranetta La Fleur.