Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Gov’t will debate Local Gov’t Bills tomorrow-Minister Ganga Persaud

Georgetown, GINA, August 6, 2013

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Ganga Persaud said that Government will debate the four Local Government Bills at tomorrow’s sitting of the National Assembly provided the order paper is not altered.

The four Local Government bills; the Fiscal Transfer Bill, the Municipal and District Councils (Amendment) Bill, the Local Government (Amendment) Bill and the Local Government Commission Bill are on the order paper to be debated.

“If there is no attempt to interfere with the order paper, I see no reason why the bills will not be debated,” Minister Persaud told the media today during a press conference at his Ministry.

Meanwhile the Minister reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the holding of Local Government Elections, and spoke of the opposition’s behaviour at the July 18 sitting that caused the bills not to be debated. The parliamentary opposition amended the standing order, bringing up the four local Government bills ahead of two pieces of legislation crucial to the Amaila Falls Hydro project at that sitting. Government refused to debate the bills.

Consideration of the local government bills was again postponed when the government declined to proceed with its business at the July 25 sitting.

“An order paper is set, circulated to everybody, as the item is already sequenced and because you have a one-seat majority, you want to show might, so you suspend the standing order and change up the business,” he said.

“That is nonsensical, unacceptable and any such kind of behaviour or attitudes displayed by the Opposition, the government reserves the right not to participate in such a charade that would seek to interfere with the Government business,” he said.

The Minister also advised that the four bills that are in Parliament are administrative political agreements for holistic reform of the local government system and that they have no bearing on the holding of local government elections.

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