Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan said the amendments to Local Authorities Bill satisfactorily addresses concerns in relation to local authority’s elections.
The National Assembly passed the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill 2018 and voted down amendments made by the opposition to the same Bill.
Wrapping up the debates on the Bill, Minister Bulkan noted the amendments will see local democracy being applied meaningfully.
The minister chided the opposition side of the House for their extraneous and irrelevant contributions on the debate of the Bill. Minister Bulkan also took the time to address several inaccuracies raised by the opposition during the debates.
On the issue of establishing Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in indigenous communities, Minister Bulkan assured that it was done after extensive consultations. He assured that the creation of the local democratic organs will not impinge on provisions in the Amerindian Act.
The minister was referring specifically to the dissolution of the Bora Bora NDC to create two new NDCs while, “perhaps the confusion arose from the fact that in the reconstitution of one of the two NDC area it was given the name Annai. Perhaps if it was given the name East Bora Bora, there wouldn’t have been this confusion”, he explained.
Minister Bulkan reminded that the establishment of towns and NDCs across the country is part of empowering persons to better manage their communities. “This administration is embracing participatory democracy … we are empowering people.”
The bill was read a third time and passed as amended.
By: Tiffny Rhodius.
Image: Keno George.