Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Ganga Persaud said the Ministry, from November 18, will seek to engage the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and elected and appointed officers in clusters to discuss the new legal electoral environment in which the next local government elections will be held.
During a press conference today at his Kingston office, he said that much of the information that will be discussed with the councillors and staff, as part of the public awareness programme, will center on matters regarding the legislation, those eligible to vote and the electoral process.
The Minister explained that approval has been given to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to post and display materials at 71 local authorities.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Local Government Bills, Minister Persaud indicated that it is his understanding that those documents that are being reviewed by the Attorney General’s chambers will soon be completed.
The Minister was asked about the expected date of the local government elections to which he replied, “As I said before now, there is no hindrance to the holding of local government elections and that is the reason why we have started with the Guyana Elections Commission to put out their public awareness materials,” he said.
Minister Persaud explained that the elections commission based on advice is currently involved in its 5thcycle of continuous registration which will conclude by November 23. GECOM will then input the information garnered into the national register data base and when that exercise is completed then the elections commission will be ready to extract.
“The Minister naming the date for elections is more of a fallacy than a readiness issue because no Minister of government will seek to step out there and name a date knowing clearly that the elections commission will not be ready…we will just be making a mockery of things,” he said.