Georgetown, Guyana – (March 28, 2018) With the 2018 Local Government Elections on the horizon, President David Granger, today, swore in the newly elected and re-elected Mayors and Deputy Mayors reminding them that it is the people, who will ultimately determine their fate as administrative leaders of the nine capital Towns. Speaking at the ceremony at State House, the Head of State also called on the Mayors and the Deputies to not ignore their responsibility to serve all their constituents regardless of political affiliation and to lead the process of transforming the Towns into centres of commerce and industry and provide the services of the state to the people in collaboration with the other levels of Government.

“The Government of Guyana functions at three levels; national, regional and local. All three levels must collaborate to ensure the efficient delivery of public services to our citizens. All three levels must be competent in order to ensure good governance. Capital towns are located at the local level of our system of Government. They play a pivotal role in animating development at the regional level. Town Councils, effectively administered, will help build strong regions. Capital towns, administered by Town Councils, are no longer part of the old, archaic system of counties,” he said.

As Guyana aligns itself to become a state of economically-powerful regions characterised by universal access to public services, the President said that Town Councils, therefore, must retool their administrative systems to become the engines of enterprise, employment and economic development. He noted that capital towns are the main centres of commerce and industry, the principal ports or terminals of international trade, the seats of public administration and the main settlements of their population. “Regional Councillors, regardless of the political affiliation, must work collectively for the common good of their municipality and their region. Regional chambers of commerce must be encouraged to function; regional agricultural and commercial exhibitions must attract investment,” he said.

President Granger said that his Government will ensure that Local Government continues to function in the interest if the people and empowers ordinary citizens to more increasingly become involved in the administration of their own communities. This, he said, is being made possible through regular elections.

“Regular municipal and mayoral elections promote democratic renewal. Municipal elections, held in March 2016, will be held again this year. These elections will afford citizens the right to determine who administers their towns and how. Mayors and Deputy Mayors are vital to the entire system of governance. They must commit to ensuring the delivery of public services within their municipalities and act in the interests of their constituents, consult their constituents and citizens in the decision-making processes which are likely to affect their well-being and conduct their duties, at all times, in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws of Guyana and remain faithful to their oath of office,” the President said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Maxine Welch-Hendricks, Deputy Mayor of Lethem, who has retained office, said that she will be working with the Mayor to not only beautify the town but to embark on several infrastructural development projects including road works and the construction of a gymnasium to benefit the young people, as well as programmes targeted at youth empowerment.

Mayor of Bartica, Mr. Gifford Marshall said that he is elated to be re-elected as he noted that the Council will continue its work to impact the lives of its residents. “We are looking at the construction of a disability centre. We will continue on work on infrastructural projects but we also want to embark on projects that affect the lives of our people. We will also be having scholarships for our young people and we will focus on youth entrepreneurship. We will also start the installation of street lights and continue on our education on the ‘greening’ of Bartica and what is expected of them,” he said.

The Mayors who were sworn in were Ms. Patricia Chase-Green (Georgetown), Mr. Rabindranauth Mohan (Anna Regina), Mr. Gifford Marshall (Bartica), Mr. Kerry Jarvis (Lethem), Mr. Krishnand Jaichand (Corriverton), Ms. Waneka Arrindell (Linden), Mr. Henry Smith (Mabaruma), Ms. Winifred Heywood (New Amsterdam) and Mr. Vijay Ramoo (Rose Hall).

Mr. Darshan Persaud (Anna Regina), Ms. Nageshwari Lochanprasad (Bartica), Mr. Akeem Peter (Georgetown), Ms. Maxine Ann Welch Hendricks (Lethem), Mr. Wainewright Bethune (Linden), Ms. Astrille Gamell (Mabaruma), Mr. Compton Grant (New Amsterdam) and Mr. Dave Budhu (Rose Hall) were sworn in as the Deputy Mayors.

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