Social activist calls on AG to release the Local Government Bills
The four Bills that were supposed to pave the way for Local Government polls that were passed by the National Assembly close to a month now, are yet to make there way to the desk of President Donald Ramotar.
On Tuesday morning social and political activist Mark Benschop peacefully picketed outside of the Attorney General’s Chambers, calling on the Attorney General to release the Local Government Bills so the President can assent to them. He was alone but his plaque card sent a loud message.
Benschop said he feels that the Government should not use the Local Government Bills as a way to negotiate other issues. He even found the recent statement by the Home Affairs Minister on the issue as simply an excuse which he feels cannot be accepted.
The Alliance For Change party has also accused the present administration of deliberately holding up the assenting of the Local Government bills.
The Clerk of the National Assembly was reported as saying that the Bills were sent to the Attorney General’s office to be scrutinized. He did point out that it was a convention and not a statutory requirement.
With the bills still at the Attorney General’s office, GECOM’s Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally has given a six-month time frame from the assent of the President to the Local Government Bills for the commission to be ready for Local Government Elections.
But A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is not buying into GECOM’s position that the Commission would not be ready for Local Government elections before that six-month time frame.