September 27, 2016

Candidates should intensify LGE campaign

Dear Editor,
The Ministry of Communities wishes to express thanks and congratulations to all members of the Disciplined Services who voted in Tuesday’s historic local government polls. The same sentiments are extended to the hard-working staff of GECOM who conducted the exercise competently. The Ministry is, however, disappointed about multiple reports of a low turnout.
The Ministry of Communities sincerely believes in the truth of Article 12 of the Constitution which states, “Local Government by freely-elected representatives of the people is an integral part of the democratic organisation of the State”. In other words, in the absence of functional local government, there can be no real democracy. And citizens will agree that democratic renewal at the grassroots is much needed in Guyana.
The Ministry repeats, too, that if you do not vote, other people who vote will choose your community representatives, and you will have no voice in the decision-making process.
The importance of having a voice in decisions that directly affect you cannot be overstated. The councillors elected by the people who vote will make decisions on what bridges and roads to repair or build; they will decide where playgrounds are to be constructed; they will be responsible for garbage collection, cleaning of drains and parapets, provision of healthcare services, pest control, noise nuisance control, and all other aspects of community life. Can anyone, therefore, afford not to vote?
Guyanese have not had the opportunity to cast a ballot since 1994 in LGE. These current elections will go down in history as the pivotal moment when Guyanese took power into their own hands; the moment when citizens took control of their own destinies.
The remainder of Guyanese will have an opportunity to be part of history on March 18, by going to your designated polling place and casting a ballot. You cannot afford to miss this unprecedented opportunity. The Ministry of Communities encourages you, again, to make use of your vote.
Your vote is your voice. Additionally, the Ministry encourages candidates to redouble and intensify their campaign efforts in the time remaining.  If you do not know where your particular polling place is located, you can obtain that information by calling GECOM on 225-0277 to 9 or 226-6557, or by visiting the website at If you visit the website and enter your ID Card number, you will be informed of the location of your polling place.

Yours faithfully,
Mark DaCosta
For the Ministry of

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