Members of the first ever and long-awaited Local Government Commission took their oath of office on Monday, with assurances from the President that his government remains respectful of the Constitution.
President David Granger said the ceremony signifies the government’s commitment to good governance, respect for the constitution and enforcing local democracy.
He also believes that it demonstrates the government’s commitment to the re-establishment of institutions that protect the constitution.
“This ceremony where the appointees of the Local Government Commissions are being sworn in reaffirms that the Republic remains strongly on the path of constitutionalism,” he added.
These assurances come amid criticisms that the President acted unconstitutionally when he appointed the head of on constitutional body recently.
Mr. Granger recalled all his appointments over the last year, including the recent appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and said they all testify to this commitment.
He pledged to ensure that this commitment to constitutionality will continue while ensuring that as many persons as possible are made to participate in local democracy and governance.
It is the hope of the Head of State that the Commission will also ensure executive and political intrusion is rejected and ensure that there is greater efficiency in the delivery of government services at the community level.
The ceremony now brings the Local Government Commission one step closer to becoming operationalized.
The eight members were finalized after submissions from the Leader of the Opposition, the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and the Minister of Communities.
The members are Mortimer Mingo, Clement Corlette, Marlon Williams, Joan Ann Ramascindo, Andrew Garnett, Carol Sooba, and former Ministers under the PPP government, Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore.
The Local Government Commission will oversee, monitor, investigate and examine the actions of the councils.
The legislation for the Local Government Commission came into being in late 2013, but the body’s operationalization required a commencement order which was not immediately given.
Funding was set aside for the Commission in the last budget.