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by Nicole Telford
Residents and local leaders across Guyana’s townships are being advised to familiarize themselves with the annual meeting schedule of the Community Development Councils (CDC) Elections in their respective communities.
Linden’s Mayor, Sharma Solomon, voiced his concerns to Village Voice News about what he perceives as the hijacking of democracy by the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC).
Mayor Solomon revealed that he was made aware of numerous “secret weekend meetings and covert operations orchestrated by the PPPC.” However, these clandestine meetings came to light thanks to sources from within the Linden PPP/C supporters.
While Mayor Solomon acknowledged that there are several community meetings planned across the country, he highlighted that many are being organized without the complete knowledge or participation of the residents. Despite this, the community of Linden successfully prompted the PPP/C to cancel all scheduled meetings in their locality.
Meetings initially set to take place at Bamia on the Linden Soesdyke Highway, Block 22, and Half Mile Wismar Linden have since been canceled.
The Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Program (SLED) oversees the management and financing of Community Development Councils throughout the country. Mayor Solomon emphasized the importance of residents’ involvement in the election process, reminiscent of their engagement during the Local Government Elections. He pointed out that “five hundred million dollars were allocated during the recent budget debate in the National Assembly for the SLED Program.” According to Solomon, these funds are being channeled to pay PPP/C supporters, friends, and family, potentially serving dual purposes – employment and as a political instrument.
It’s essential to note that the CDC functions as a foundational layer of local democracy. The main aim is for residents to champion social and community initiatives, primarily focusing on projects related to drainage and irrigation works.
Mayor Solomon firmly believes in the sanctity of the CDC elections, stating, “The elections must remain free from the influence of any political party. Residents need to grasp that by participating, they aren’t just ensuring their representation but are also upholding the principles of democracy and inclusivity.”