Dictatorship and false promises in local democracy

first_imgDear Editor,The recently held inaugural National Conference of Local Democratic Organs (NCLDO) is definitely a living example of extravagance, and was a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.The huge publicity by the APNU/AFC coalition Government, boasting about the hosting of this NCLDO conference, is to divert attention from the critical issues that are affecting the various Local Authority Areas and to use the opportunity to campaign hypocritically that the APNU/AFC are strong advocates of local democracy, which is way beyond the truth .President David Granger visited Fyrish on March 16th, 2018 and told local officials that his Government is committed to working with local democratic organs (RDCs and NDCs) to find workable solutions. He also announced that he would convene a region- wide conference, engaging regional and local officials with the view to addressing the problems that are being faced at the local level, so that citizens at community level can enjoy a higher quality of service from their respective local democratic organs.These were the commitments made by President Granger publicly, and they were definitely not fulfilled by the hosting of the NCLDO; instead, he inform officials that they have to be self-sufficient, imposing autonomy, which means that in order to sustain the Local Authority Areas, the local leaders must increase burdens such as taxes, fees etc. on the struggling Guyanese people in various LAA areas.Since the first Local Government Conference in 2015, numerous issues where raised by local leaders; to date, Minister Ronald Bulkhan has done nothing to address those issues.He also failed to comply with local democracy, and encouraged REOs in various regions that are being managed by the PPP to disrespect local democracy and impose policies that are not approved by the Regional Democratic Council. This minister has brought the Local Government System to irrelevance since 2015. This is the first time in the history of Guyana that an elected Regional Democratic Council (Region Five) cannot function effectively.President David Granger and Communities Minister Ronald Bulkhan are imposing new NDCs and municipalities down the throats of people in the new LAA areas without any consultation. This is a new form of dictatorship.Imagine, at a meeting by GECOM in a new NDC, Caracas-Wyburg area, the residents were so dissatisfied with GECOM just coming to inform residents about the LGE elections by imposing demarcation of various constituencies without any consultation with the residents. The Government never even consulted with residents that the area would be a new LAA area.On Local Authorities Amendment Bill #9/2018, our Regional Member of Parliament, Cde Zulfikar Mustapha, mentioned in his presentation that there was no consultation in the formation of these specific LAA areas, and about the ‘big stick’ method used by Minister Bulkhan to dictate the formation.The APNU/AFC coalition Government is trying to convince the international communities and the world that they are advocates of local democracy, which is a fallacy.Regards,Zamal Hussainlast_img read more

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