Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
…say their elected leaders are being shoved aside
Residents of Agatash and Dagg Point, two indigenous villages in Bartica, Region Seven, protested on Monday that they are currently being prevented from electing their own leaders, an act that infringes on their democratic rights.
The villages are currently managed by their Community Development Councils (CDCs) which are organised within Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) to effectively represent residents’ concerns. However, on Monday, the residents claimed that there is an attempt by the current Administration to impose Interim Management Committees (IMCs) on their villages.
They said that the leaders they chose as residents have not been recognized by the Administration.
While maintaining social distancing, the villagers held up placards which stated: “We don’t want a handpicked CDC Chairman”, “Long live democracy, no dictators”, “The entire community must be involved in elections”, “We voted for democracy, we need democracy” and more. Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall, shared the protest on his social media page.
The last time Local Government Elections (LGEs) were held in Guyana was in 2018. Before then, under the current Administration’s 23 years of leadership in the past, no LGEs were held.
However, in 2015, when the former President David Granger-led administration came into Government, it held two LGEs over a four-year period removing the PPP/C-established IMCs that were running the municipalities of Guyana.
The residents shouted on Monday that now, secret meetings are being held and chosen community leaders are being shut out of these. Other placards they held up stated: “We are being forced to accept leaders we do not want. It is our democratic right to choose our council or leaders”, “We do not need an Interim Management Committee. Swear-in or newly elected body” and “Ministers please listen to our voices”.