Monday, September 7, 2009

President has not given his assent to the Local Government (Elections) Amendment Bill, 2009

The nation awaits President Jagdeo response on this one
September 7, 2009 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

Political conversation in the Georgetown circuit still centers on President Jagdeo’s outburst against the Kaieteur News at the dinner held at the Pegasus by the Private Sector Commission on August 28. It is certain to be displaced by the contents of page 14 of yesterday’s Kaieteur News.

If you haven’t read that page, I urge you to do so. It consists of some trenchant criticism of President Jagdeo and the competence of his Government, not by a perennial anti-PPP critic, an opposition politician but by the neutral figure of the Chairman of the GECOM, Dr. Steve Surajbally.

It is when you read what Dr. Surajbally has to say about why there were no Local Government Elections this year, then, you could put into proper context, the President’s unwarranted attack on the Kaieteur News.

The point is that perennial blame is always laid at the doorstep of the opposition, the private media and anti-government critics. But these are masks to hide chronic non-performance, abysmal incompetence and administrative ineptitude of the worst kind by the PPP Government since 1992. Let us quote from page 14 of yesterday’s Kaieteur News.

Entitled, “Late payment of requisite funds staled process,” the following is an extract from the article; “Dr. Surajbally was responding to recent assertions by President Jagdeo dismissing them as ‘unfair, deleterious, inaccurate and ill-advised statements about GECOM’ adding that some of the statements have been repeated by influential members of the PPP, Government Officials and the party newspaper, the Mirror.”

If wasn’t for space constraints, I would have repeated this section of the KN news item. This is an important observation by the GECOM boss with far reaching implications for stability in this country. When commentators make these kinds of opinions, they are accused of trying to create mischief, we will come to that below but let’s offer more quotes from the article.

Here is Dr. Surajbally in his own words; “With uncanny prescience, perspicacity and farsightedness, the President developed a scenario relative to the paths, associated with the conclusion of the deliberations of the Joint Task Force for Local Government Reform (JTFLGR) which would have been taken…This forecast was shared with the nation and published by the media…how can the President be disappointed, when he himself so ably predicted how the sequence of events would unfold?’ Now if you think that was a frank statement on the role of the President in the Local Government debacle, read the following words of the GECOM Chairman.

“To this date, neither the Chairman nor the Commission has received the final text of he Local Government (Elections) Amendment Bill, 2009…In fact, up to the time of writing, the disappointed President has not given his assent to this piece of legislation…After not being disappointed for eight years, after not doing anything to rectify and speed up the JTFLEGR’s activities, how can one be legitimately disappointed when Local Government Elections are postponed for only a few months?”

Now here is the bombshell from GECOM that should cause every Guyanese to be careful what they hear from the people who run the Government of Guyana. There is no reason for us to believe anything these people say. Here is a quote from the article; “The GECOM Chairman also questioned how the President could be disappointed with the postponement of Local Government Elections when only on June 11th, 2009, GECOM received the money to pay De La Rue for the production of ID cards.” (End of all quotes and extracts)

For over four decades, East Indians in this country have been told by the PPP of how bad the PNC is, how the WPA wanted the power the PPP has, how these anti-government commentators are working to spread destabilization messages, how the private media have its own anti-government agenda, how human right groups are front for the opposition.

The quotes you read above, the accusations made above, were not from the pen of anti-government commentator, not from the editorial of a private newspaper but from the highly neutral office of the Chairman of GECOM.

Let it be clear in the minds of those who read what the GECOM boss said – there is an intention to smear the name of GECOM in relation to not holding Local Government Elections in 2009 when those very voices that framed that intention contributed to the process that did not allow GECOM to proceed with the elections.

What other paths of shamelessness is left for certain people to walk on in this country? If you believe in God, then pray with all your might that Guyana is saved in 2011 by a change of government.

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