Dharamlall and Persaud destroying local governance and regional development  

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DEAR EDITOR,

I have noticed with great concern the actions of the Ministers of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall and Anand Persaud especially in the context of the treatment being meted out to our Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs), Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).

The ministry is guided by a mission which is to supervise and maintain the legal and regulatory framework of the system of local and regional administration, to encourage and facilitate the development of the regions and local organs and to support the continued integration and development of the hinterland communities.

However, the country has two installed ministers who are directly interfering with the administrative operations of our RDCs, Municipalities and NDCs. I wish to remind Ministers Dharamlall and Persaud that our constitution is supreme and the elected bodies at the level of RDCs, Municipalities and NDCs are autonomous and independent of political directives. Articles 71 to 78 of our constitution are pellucid.

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I therefore call on the Ministers of Local Government and Regional Development to stop directing Regional Executive Officers (REOs) of RDCs, Town Clerks of Municipalities and Overseers of NDCs on how to execute their functions. The elected Councilors are the authorites in these respective organs and not Ministers of Government. The Councilors were elected by the people for the people. The deliberate directive to the REOs, Town Clerks and Overseers to not carry out the instructions of the elected councils is a violation of our consitution and will be met with the strictest of resistance if not halted.

Additionally, I call on the Regional Executive Officer of Region 10 to respect the appointment of Mr. Seewchan as the Deputy Regional Executive Officer of the Region and allow him to function as the Programme Manager for Programme One – Regional Admistration and Finance.

Yours faithfully
Ganesh Mahipaul, M.P.
Shadow Minister of Local Government and Regional Development



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