Over 200 Indigenous communities throughout Guyana are preparing to conduct Village Council Elections for Toshaos and Councillors. This process will run for a period of one month, from May 15 to June 15.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock stated that the ministry has put all necessary arrangements in place to ensure the successful hosting of the elections throughout the country, a government release said.
In preparation for the elections, audits are to be conducted three months prior. This is in keeping with the Amerindian Act of 2006 which stipulates that ‘the minister shall arrange a general audit, financial and documentary, before the date of Village Council Elections.’ The audits are led by an independent auditor.
This will aid in facilitating a smooth handing over of all village assets, as the election results may determine. According to Minister Allicock, the ministry would have facilitated audits in some 31 communities this year.
Last month, the community of Batavia hosted its Village Council Elections campaign, where prospective Toshaos, Ralph Jeffrey, Oren Williams and Royston Rodrigues presented their manifestos to the residents. Following this, the nominees each delivered a copy of their manifesto to the village council, before beginning their respective campaigns.
To be elected as a Toshao, a person must be eligible to stand as Councillor and should not have held the position for the two terms immediately preceding his or her nomination. These elections are held every three years.
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