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Six months needed to be ready for Local Government Elections – GECOM Chairman

shot0009Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Dr. Steve Surujbally has given a six-month time frame from when President Donald Ramotar assented to the Local Government Bills for the commission to be ready for Local Governments Elections.

It was after 19 years in the making, parliamentarians from both sides of the House on Wednesday night debated and passed the four Local Government Bills, which now clears the way for the holding of the long overdue Local Government elections.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday evening, Dr. Surujbally said there are some administrative and logistical frameworks that need to be put in place before those elections are held.

The GECOM Chairman said that a critical part of the preparations for those elections is a public education campaign for both candidates and voters.

He admitted that while he has presided over several general and regional elections,  this is new terrain for the commission, but it is ready for the task ahead.

Guyana’s National Development Strategy for 2000, developed with the support of the Carter Center, called for a local government system with greatly increased authority, with the power to formulate their own developmental plans and strategies.

The strategy also highlighted that the local democratic organs should have a legal right, within clearly specified boundaries, to enact local laws, and to collect specified rates and taxes, as approved by Central Government.

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