Political parties, groups and individuals contesting the November 12th Local Government Elections (LGE) turned out yesterday on Nominations Day at centres established by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) across the country.
With some dressed in their party colours, an atmosphere of exuberance permeated the air, as supporters and representatives of the various parties engaged in light banter.
Nominations commenced at 10 am and ended at 2pm, and were executed mostly in a peaceful and orderly manner. At the Critchlow Labour College, the three major political parties – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) – arrived with a procession to present their list of candidates to contest seats in the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC).
City Mayor Patricia Green, who has been accused of overseeing a poorly performing APNU-led City Hall, did not offer a comment when approached by Kaieteur News. However, APNU Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Akeem Peter apologised to citizens for not meeting expectations and promised to do better.
Nine new Local Authority Areas, one new town (Mahdia), 80 councillors, an additional eight Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) are participating in this year’s LGE.
AFC Representative Audwin Rutherford said that he was confident with his team as victory is not just winning the majority, but being there to represent the people and be the voice of the people.
“We know that there would be significant – Our team- we have a mixture of youth and experience and we have maybe one of the better administrators of all the other teams put together,” Rutherford noted.
United Republican Party (URP) Representative Ian Halls, said that the party will bring a lot of change to the Council and run it like a business to benefit the workers in terms of better salaries and improved services for residents.
“Trust the URP, give them a chance and we will ensure that the taxes that people pay- they will get value for their money,” Halls stated.
APNU Campaign Manager for Region 10, Valerie Adams Yearwood was in a very optimistic mood.
“The strategy was always to be first and we planned well and we made it here first and so that is a good start. And it also says that if we win this race here today, we will win every other race, and so I feel good as the Campaign Manager,” she pointed out.
Adams -Yearwood noted that the APNU Party was the only party that would have held primaries and that was because the party was working towards achieving transparency.
From as early as Thursday, key political parties and their support base “camped out” at several LAA in Region Six with the major political parties taking the lead while representatives of other parties indicated that they were strategically contesting areas for nomination day yesterday.
At the Rose Hall Town Primary School, Mayor of the township Vijay Ramoo said that there were no problems experienced and “everything went smooth”. The URP party also submitted a list to contest the municipality. According to a representative from the URP party, they plan to contest all three municipalities in Region Six along with the 52 – 74, the Crabwood Creek, Canefield/Enterprise and Fort Ordinance areas.
The AFC will be contesting two municipalities in Region Six along with ten NDCs while APNU will be contesting all three municipalities in Region Six excluding the Kintyre/Borlam area.
From Bloomfield Village, Corentyne, Fassad Baksh who is on the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) list, relayed that once elected as a councillor for that area, persons could expect developmental works on streets and drains along with “clearing of animals from the streets”.
The area of Corriverton saw members of the PPP/C turning up from as early as Thursday; however, there were some minor glitches.
The Alliance for Change and the URP also submitted their lists at Corriverton.
At the GECOM office in New Amsterdam, APNU members decked out in their brilliant green T-shirts took the number one spot for submission of their list, since they held their spot since Thursday.
PPP/C, donned in their bright red shirts and party flags in hand were the second party in New Amsterdam to hand in their list while URP handed in third and the Alliance For Change handed over in the afternoon.
Winifred Haywood, Mayor of New Amsterdam said that the process was smooth with no hiccups while head of the list for PPP/C Zabarally Armogan called ‘Brown’ said that the list was checked and was confirmed as okay.
Some clarifications were needed about the occupation of one of the candidates on their list but the process was ‘smooth’ overall. Armogan said, that the PPP/C plans to contest all the areas throughout Region Six.
At the Canefield /Enterprise Neighbourhood Democratic Council, only two parties submitted their lists by noon.
LGE is held using a Mixed Electoral System of Proportional Representation and First-Past-the-Post.
Fifty percent or half of the number of councillors of each Local Authority Area will be elected through the Proportional Representation component and the other fifty per cent through the First-Past-the-Post or Constituency component.
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