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Minister of Public Works, Mr. Juan Edghill, in a recent Facebook post, told Guyanese and the rest of the world Georgetown residents should vote for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) so that the government could fix their roads and do more through City Hall.
Georgetown is the capital of Guyana, the seat of Government, has the main ports (air and sea) of entry and exit, the main business centres and home to the CARICOM Secretariat and diplomatic offices.
Citizens were reacting to the upgrading of a farm-to-market access road in No. 58 Village, Corentyne Berbice. The village is a stronghold of the PPP/C.
The Georgetown municipality is controlled by the Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition.
The PPP/C, whilst it has not won the municipality, is the Executive head of the Central/National Government. The Central Government controls the national coffers and determines who gets what, when, where and how. The PPP/C has the final say in the National Budget and appropriations of funding.
Article 77 of the Constitution of Guyana which mandates central government provides funding to regional and local government authorities based on their programmes is not adhered to.
Specifically, at Article 77A “Parliament shall by law provide for the formulation and implementation of objective criteria for the purpose of the allocation of resources to, and the garnering of resources by local democratic organs.”
Efforts by the local government organs to raise and expand their revenue base are curtailed by the absence of laws and central government’s restrictions.
The APNU+AFC has repeatedly stated the PPP/C government is discriminating against citizens that support or are perceived to be their supporters, and is economically depriving the regions and local governments, particularly in areas where Opposition supporters are in the main.
President Irfaan Ali often talks about ‘One Guyana,’ this is perhaps the clearest it has ever been made in the minister’s statement, said one commentator.