Granger not budging from his Local Government Ultimatum

Granger not budging from his Local Government Ultimatum

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has solidified its calls for local government elections and Leader of the Opposition David Granger said that the position of his September 9th letter to President Donald Ramotar still stands.

Granger has given President Ramotar until Monday September 15 to announce a date for local  government elections which have not been held in 20 years.

At a Friday press conference  at the Office of the Opposition Leader, the APNU said that “President Donald Ramotar must tell the nation the truth about local government elections”, adding “the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration does not have the prerogative to deny the people their constitutional right to local democracy. The Guyanese people are being denied their right to elect their own local and municipal leaders; they are being denied their right to even known when those elections will be held”.

The APNU’s proclamation came one day after President Ramotar said the Opposition Leader needs to be assured that there is no need to remind him (President Ramotar) about upholding Guyana’s constitution and about the importance of democracy, since “the track record of the PPP/C administration is one that has always defended, advocated and promoted constitutionality, the rule of law and democracy at every level in Guyana”.

But the APNU insisted that holding local government elections should not be seen as a favour “to be bestowed by the PPP/C whenever it choose, it is an obligation, not an option, for the President of the Republic to comply with the constitution and to conform the laws of the country. The President and the PPP/C, by deliberately delaying the holding of local government elections, are in gross violation of the Constitution and the Law”.

And even as the APNU is calling for a date to be set for local government polls, it is also moving forward with its support of a no confidence motion in the government.

The Alliance For Change will move a no confidence motion against the PPPC administration when the National Assembly comes out of recess in October.

Granger told reporters that although the party supports the no confidence motion, that move has not shifted its position on Local Government Elections.

“The filed no-confidence motion will have no impact on the party’s position on local government election” Granger said, while pointing out that their September 15 deadline as stipulated in the letter sent to President Ramotar, is justification of the opposition’s mandate to the people of Guyana.

It was also stated, that as a reminder, the Local Government (Amendment) Bill; Local Government Commission Bill, Fiscal Transfer Bill and Municipal Councils Bill were all passed by the National Assembly on August 7, 2013 thereby paving the way for elections to be held under the new system.

However, President Donald Ramotar only assented to three of the four bills, claiming that the Local Government (Amendment) Bill contains changes that were contrary to agreements made with his Administration by the main Opposition during a series of meetings.

Filed: 13th September, 2014

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