September 25, 2016

Youth participation vibrant on the East Coast

By Devina Samaroo

Young people appeared to have dominated the scene at the Local Government Elections (LGE) within the various constituencies along the East Coast Demerara (ECD).

Tiffany Williams

Tiffany Williams

The general turnout was relatively poor but young adults went out in fairly large numbers – outweighing the elderly population – to cast their ballots at the first LGE since 1994.
The younger generation seemed adamant to take part in the process and have their voices heard.
In fact, a large number of candidates running in the various constituencies are younger than 30 years.

PPP/C Candidate Zaman Shaw

PPP/C Candidate Zaman Shaw

A young doctor, Zaman Shaw, is the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate for Constituency Two of the Better Hope/La Bonne Intention Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) who has quite a vision for youth involvement in community development.
“Our Party has always recognised the importance of involving young people and so my being here is just to participate in that process and offer my services to my community. I have been working with young people. I am from the community and I know what needs to be done for the development of the community,” he posited.
The young candidate explained that he intends to establish a youth arm of the NDC in order to get young people more involved in the decision-making process and community advocacy works impacting the progress of the area.
“We just want all the voices of the young people to contribute to the development of the community,” he stated.
Guyana Times/Evening News General Editor Michael Younge also took time off from his busy schedule to exercise his franchise in his hometown of Better Hope.
During a brief interview with this newspaper, this first-time voter underscored the importance of youth participation in the local government electoral process.
“I am very excited that I have an opportunity like a lot of young people across this country to play a part in the development of my country. I believe as a young person this is the least that I can do at this point in time given that this election is very historic,” he expressed.
Also very enthused by the entire process was a young couple from Mon Repos who turned out at polling station with their little daughter to cast their ballots.
They were rather impressed by the quick pace in which it took for them to finish voting.
Young lads from the Buxton area were also very jolly as they exited the various polling stations in their NDC.
Over in the Sparendaam/Plaisance district, two young girls expressed their hopes for a better community following these elections.
Proudly displaying their inked fingers, the girls highlighted some of the issues affecting their community.
“We have drainage problems and I know the roads are terrible so we need to put people in place that will actually address these problems,” Tiffany Williams stated.
Her colleague also expressed similar sentiments.
Notwithstanding, the East Coast Demerara experienced poor voter turnout.
A number of residents actually expected more persons to flock the polling stations.
According to several residents, many persons work within Georgetown and therefore might not go the extra mile to take time off to go to vote.

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