GECOM holds consultation at City Hall
As part of its consultation sessions in the run up to local Government Elections, a team of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials on Thursday engaged meaningful discussions with City Councillors on GECOM’s proposed demarcation of Georgetown into Constituencies.
According to Assistant Elections Commissioner, Keith Lowenfield, the order of the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall, is that GECOM shall in consultation with Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and municipalities across Guyana seek to have the views of the membership of councils across Guyana.
Lowenfield and members of the GECOM team which included Assistant Chief Registration Officer, Calvin Benn, were prepped with relevant information to share with the municipal officials.
But even before the presentation commenced Councillor Llewellyn John pointed out that he was in fact privy to the proposed division of Georgetown, adding that he was quite appalled that he was given a list of areas with no maps Thursday.
“We should have been supplied with maps so that on viewing those maps we could see exactly particular areas that are outside of Georgetown. The absence of the map is a serious deficiency on the part of the Elections Commission…”
In taking note of the observation, Lowenfield stressed that the discussions was intended for the wisdom of councillors to come aboard. As such he noted that the plan was to use one generic map of the city of Georgetown based on the forthcoming inputs.
“Once we ratify what would be based on your input then the maps so demarcating constituencies will be provided. This is a deliberation, a mere proposal to have your input as the elders of the city for your help.”
Lowenfield underscored further that the proposal offered Thursday was in no way a final document. He noted that with the municipality’s input along with others the true demarcation will be done so that maps will demarcate the constituent areas for the future.
According to Catherine Adams, Assistant Acting Registration Officer, North Georgetown, the order by the Minister dated October 12, last, stipulated that the municipality shall have 30 seats in accordance with the Local Authority Election Amendment Bill.
She offered specific details of the processing even highlighted that Section 38AI of the Local Authority Amendment Bill of 2008 states that a mix system of proportional representation and first- past-the post shall be used in each local authority area.
As such she noted that 50 percent will be provided to proportional representation and 50 percent for constituencies.
Presented Thursday were 15 constituencies with a total of more than 77,000 electors, a figure which according to Councillor John is an indication that a large number of people still have not been registered.