Georgetown, Guyana – (October 18, 2018) President David Granger, yesterday, told residents of Linden, Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) that Local Government Elections (LGE) should be used as a tool to transform Guyana.
“Use the Local Government Elections to transform Guyana… not to remain stagnant but to change things, provide better services for the children and residents of these villages,” said the President who noted that such democracy has started bearing fruit.
The Head of State was at the time addressing a community meeting held at the Egbert Benjamin Conference Centre, McKenzie, Linden. He reminded that it was his administration that returned local democracy to the people of Guyana with the hosting of LGE in March 2016 after a two-decade hiatus.
As such, LGE will be held when constitutionally due and as such, the President urged the residents of Linden to use the opportunity provided by LGE to work hand in hand with regional and central government.
The three tiers of government, Local, Regional and Central, President Granger reminded must work together to ensure that the needs of citizens across the country are met. “Linden is one of the unique and successful places where all three levels are capable of working together, central, regional and local (municipal) so success is assured,” said the President who reminded that it is lack of cooperation that stymies Guyana’s development.
“Local government elections are meant to solve local problems. This is the importance…it is you the representatives of the residents of those communities who must inform, instruct and direct your representatives about how to provide services to the respective communities. That is what LG is all about,” the Head of State asserted.
Those elected to office the President said must ensure that the needs of all residents of each constituency are satisfied.
“We are faced with a very exciting competition that is to select the people who are fittest to serve the various constituencies. The beauty about these elections is that you know who the people are. LGE are special because you have to prove yourself, demonstrate your care, consciousness, capability to serve the constituencies,” said President Granger who said Guyana is on the brink of a new form of democracy.
He told the residents of Linden there is still need for persons to be educated about the importance of LGE noting that the more than two-decade hiatus in the hosting of the elections has resulted in a lack of understanding.
“This is not General and Regional Elections and the only people who are qualified to elect people in this municipality is the municipality themselves. Most important, is that this is an exercise in real democracy in that you can identify with the candidates,” he stated as candidates were urged to build a relationship of trust with residents.
Further, President Granger called on the residents of Linden to ensure they are registered for the November 12, 2018 elections. “You cannot do it by sitting in a living room; you have to meet people, mobilise,” he said.
The Head of State also noted the changes that have been taking place in Linden albeit some may appear small while others have been incremental over the past three years.
“…but the budget for this Region has increased from $2.8B to $3.9B,” President Granger stated while adding that efforts are afoot to ensure that more buildings are electrified with solar power. “Solar Energy is going to be used to power linden, more and more,” he added.
Through LGE, the President said he sees an opening for the residents of the Town particularly the children to grow accustom to good order and administration.
The President assured that things will improve while noting that with Guyana becoming an oil producing nation, citizens are going to benefit.
“Things will get better because a lot of the profits are going to be put in the Natural Resources Fund, what some people call the Sovereign Wealth Fund and will provide better infrastructure, better education, public health…We must be patient, it is all coming,” the President said while noting that LGE positions the residents to make the best use of those resources.
Ministers of Social Protection and Communities, Ms. Amna Ally and Mrs. Valerie Adams- Yearwood, along with Regional Chairman Renis Morian, and Mayor of Linden Waneka Arrindell were also present at the community meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Granger handed over some 50 bicycles to school children of Region Ten as part of the Public Education Transport Service (PETS).