British HC wants Guyana to “Deliver Now” on Local Govt. Elections

British HC wants Guyana to “Deliver Now” on Local Govt. Elections

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Andrew Ayre used the celebration of the Queen’s 88th Birthday in Georgetown to issue another call for Guyana to host Local Government Elections.

The International Community has been pressing Guyana to host local government elections. The last time Guyanese went to the polls for Local Government elections was in 1994. Twenty years later, the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic continues to dodge an election timetable. The party has been in office since 1992.

High Commissioner Ayre is of the view that the continuous delays only serve as a threat to Guyana’s international standing and its democracy.

He said “in years past, I have rightly reflected on the progress Guyana has made. But those democratic gains are under threat. The decision not to have local elections is a stain on Guyana’s international standing”.

President Donald Ramotar has refused to sign into Law, several pieces of legislation that would set the stage for Local Government Elections. The Opposition parties in the National Assembly have been pushing for the elections to be held by August 1st of this year. The President and his PPP Civic which are still to recover from the minority position they find themselves in since the last General Elections, appear to be keenly observing the political pulse in the country and whether a move to the polls for Local Government Elections could spell further trouble for the PPP/Civic’s days in government.

The British Government appears wary of the delays and reasons being offered for the elections not being called. “Not only are the reasons given a clear breach of Guyana’s constitution, they are also a clear breach of the Commonwealth charter. The UK again calls on Guyana’s Government to deliver now what it is supposed to do every 3 years and what was in the manifestos of all 3 parties ahead of the 2011 elections: local elections”, the High Commissioner said.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who represented the Government of Guyana at the reception, in response, shrugged off the High Commissioner’s concerns and sought to remind him, that Local Government Elections were local. “On the issue of local government elections,  I thank you for your interest but bearing in mind the occasion this evening I would like to keep this issue local”, the Prime Minister said.

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