Georgetown, Guyana – (December 30, 2019) President David Granger, this morning, administered the Oath of Office to the re-elected Mayors and Deputy Mayors for the ten Municipalities, during a simple ceremony, held at the Ministry of the Presidency.
The Head of State in a brief address, called on the Mayors and the Deputies to recognise their responsibility to serve their constituents, regardless of political affiliation and to lead the process of transforming the towns into centres of commerce and industry. He also urged them to ensure public services are provided 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 every citizen, everywhere in the country. All three levels must be competent in order to ensure good governance, he said.
President Granger said that democratically elected Town Councils, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and Village Councils are now part of the system of regional administration. Municipalities are essential elements of the local government system, he said, adding that their role has been expanded beyond the mere provision of municipal services.
“They are now expected to become agents of change, drivers of development and protectors of the environment in collaboration with Central Government and the Regional Democratic Councils,” 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.
“Towns are the main centres of commerce and industry. They are the principal terminals of trade. They are the seats of public administration and they are the main
settlements of the regional populations. They are intended to provide leadership for the progress of the outlying areas of the large regions. Government’s policy of regionalisation over the last four and half years has been aimed at ensuring a nation of strong regions. This policy strengthens the role of capital towns in regional development.
He said Town Councils consistent with this policy should revamp and retool their admin systems to enable them to become engines of enterprise, agents of employment and engines of economic development. “Regional councillors regardless of their political affiliation must collaborate for the common good of their municipalities and their regions,” he noted.
President Granger said that his Government will ensure that Local Government continues to function in the interest of the people and empowers ordinary citizens to become more involved in the administration of their own communities. This, he said, is being made possible through regular elections.
“Two Local Government Elections have been held in four years. These elections have restored and renewed local democracy as it should be. These elections allowed citizens to elect their representatives to manage their municipalities and NDCs. Regular municipal and mayoral elections ensure that councils are accountable and remain accountable to their citizens, the Head of State said.
He informed that the Municipal and District Councils Act provides for the strengthening of democracy by requiring regular elections within councils for the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. “Mayors and Deputy Mayors are vital to the entire system of governance. They are required to commit to ensuring the delivery of public services within their municipalities and to act in the interest of their constituents,” President Granger stressed.
Article 71 of the Constitution of Guyana states that Local government is a vital aspect of democracy and shall be organised so as to involve as many persons as possible in the task of managing and developing the communities in which they reside.
The Mayors, who were sworn in this morning are Mr. Ubraj Narine (Georgetown), Mr. Winston Roberts (Corriverton), Ms. Waneka Arrindell (Linden), Mr. Chattergoon Ramnauth (Rose Hall), Mr. Rajendra Prabhulall (Anna Regina), Mr. Gifford Marshall (Bartica), Mr. Chris Phang (Mabaruma), Mr. John Macedo (Lethem) and Mr. David Adams (Mahdia). The Mayor of New Amsterdam, Ms. Winifred Heywood is currently out of the jurisdiction and would be sworn in at a later date.
The Deputy Mayors, who took the Oath of Office today are Mr. Alfred Mentore (Georgetown), Mr. Wainwright McIntosh (New Amsterdam), Mr. Imran Amin (Corriverton), Mr. Wainewright Bethune (Linden), Mr. Deonauth Harrinarine (Rose Hall), Mr. Rudolph Williams (Anna Regina), Ms. Carolyn Robinson (Mabaruma), Ms. Debra King (Lethem) and Ms. Juewayne Mendonca- Burrowes (Mahdia).