Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has said that the Local Government elections are likely to take place sometime before December, of this year.
The Minister was at the time responding to questions posed by members of the press about the upcoming elections.
Speaking at the media briefing held at Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown on Thursday, Minister Bulkan disclosed that the LGE will likely take place sometime between November and December of the electoral year as prescribed by the Local Government Act.
As part of its commitment towards ensuring democracy and the elections are held, Minister Bulkan noted that Government has allocated $2.9 Billion to the holding of LGE.
He explained, however, that the preparation for LGE lies largely with the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM).
However, steps will be taken by the Ministry to increase the public education on the functions of the Local Government.
“The public education will serve as the vehicle for more meaningful community involvement in the management and decision making of LG jurisdictions to support growth, and sustainable development of LG spaces.”
According to Bulkan, the planned LGE in 2018, will mark the first time in Guyana’s post-independence history that consecutive local government elections would have taken place as legally due.
“Recognising this historic and institutionally transformative period, our strategic effort in 2018 will focus on entrenching the system and the community understanding of the role of local government,” Bulkan added.
He noted that the Government will take steps to deliver on its promise through multiple initiatives, including public education on constitutional and legal provisions for LDOs on the authority and responsibilities; developing model/policy direction to empower LDOs to manage the economic space and develop in partnership with national government.
Additionally, steps will be taken to strengthen the Guyana Association Municipalities to provide effective service to all municipalities.
“These include the institutionalisation of the National Regional Development Consultative Committee (NRDCC), the Regional Development Consultative Committee (RDCC), and the Regional Agricultural and Commerce Exhibition (RACE); mechanisms which are designed to promote entrepreneurship, investment, partnership and collaboration between and among stakeholders/agencies within a development space.”
The Minister explained that promoting community engagement and participation, both elected and unelected components in all facets of LG operations, by training councillors and residents – in local economic development facilitation, community consultation, project management training, financial management and regulations, waste management, disaster preparedness, are also part of the plan.
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