Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Circulating among some media houses is the news that outgoing Mayor of Georgetown, Pandit Ubraj Narine, has refused to demit office even though a new Council, Mayor and Deputy Mayor were elected at the just concluded Local Government Elections (LGE).
However, according to the law Narine remains the mayor until a new mayor is sworn in. The Municipal and District Councils Act, Cap 28:01, Section 18 ‘Oath of Office’ stipulates: “The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor shall, before performing any of the functions of their respective offices, take before the President an oath of office in form set out in the Second Schedule.”
President Irfaan Ali has not yet sworn in the newly elected incoming officers in the towns.
Village Voice News reached out to Narine for comment that he is refusing to leave office and was therefore evicted. The mayor, drawing attention to the law, said he will legally demit office when the mayor-elect, who is presently the out-going Deputy Mayor, Mr. Alfred Mentore, takes the oath as mayor. To leave before would be an abrogation of duty. Likewise, the mayor’s eviction from his office from a misguided council is a violation of law.
According to the mayor, he wrote acting Town Clerk, Ms. Candace Nelson, shortly after the 12th June LGE advising the mayoral office be refurbished and made ready for the new mayor. He also said he indicated his intent to occupy the boardroom, for the few remaining days of his office, so as to allow for the preparation.
The mayor said he was not granted approval to use the boardroom, reportedly on the advice of the incoming major, Mentore. Further, he was advised by the mayor-elect to hand over to the town clerk, but he advised the town clerk according to protocol and laws, he does not have to handover over to an administrative official, only to the elected official which is the in-coming mayor after he would have taken the oath.
Questioned about his relationship with his deputy, the incoming mayor, Narine said he reached out to him seeking a meeting, but Mentore declined the invitation.
Colvern Venture, City Engineer, in a letter dated 11th July wrote the acting town clerk requesting Narine vacates the office “within the next days” to facilitate the renovation.
On Friday, 14th July Narine said the Council seized the vehicle assigned to him, has in effect made him persona non grata and illegally locked him out of the office. These actions are not only a violation of the laws but also violation of mayoral rights.
The Municipal and District Councils Act, Cap 20:01, Section 18 ‘Oath of Office’ stipulates “The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor shall, before performing any of the functions of their respective offices, take before the President an oath of office in form set out in the Second Schedule.”
Meanwhile, the A Partnership of National Unity (APNU) of which the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC) is a major partner, is holding a Thank You rally this afternoon in Georgetown. The legally recognised Mayor, by way of statute, Pt. Ubraj Narine told this publication he was advised that on the instruction of Leader of the PNCR, APNU and Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton, he must not speak. It is uncharacteristic for a party, hosting a municipal event, to omit their own elected mayor from being on the platform.