The second elections for the office of Mayor of the Municipality of Mabaruma, Region One, ended in a tie last Thursday.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, has since written the Town Clerk, Barrington Ward, declaring incumbent Henry Smith as the mayor.
The decision has angered the Opposition, with Member of Parliament (MP), Collin Croal, insisting that based on his party’s interpretation, there should have been a bi-election between Smith and Councillor Vibert Emmanuel to decide.
According to a letter dated Thursday, March 15, 2018, addressed to the Town Clerk, Minister Bulkan indicated that he has taken note of the correspondence indicating the results of the second elections for the Office of the Mayor of the municipality.
In that letter from the Town Clerk, Minister Bulkan was told that there has been another equality of votes with incumbent Mayor Smith and Councillor Emmanuel both receiving six votes each.
“By virtue of the authority vested in the Minister of Communities in Section 13 (8) of the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01 which also provides that in such circumstances the Minister shall select one of the above nominated councillors as the mayor, it is hereby declared that Councillor Henry Rupert Smith is the Mayor of the Municipality of Mabaruma for the ensuing year.”
Yesterday, Croal insisted, on his Facebook page that another section of the same regulations -Section 13(6) of the Municipal and District Councils Act states that, “on account of equality of votes, the Town Clerk shall appoint a date not later than December 28 in the same year for the election of the Mayor from the tied Candidates by the voters whose names appear on the register of voters, for the time being in force, for the city.”
Croal said that it is the interpretation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), that there should have been a “bi-election” between the two nominated mayors from the register of voters within the municipality.
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