PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. April 19, 2005

The People’s National Congress Reform rejects the misleading news item on page 4 of the Kaieteur News of Saturday April 16, 2005 under the caption “Mayor of Rose Hall resigns”. The Kaieteur News, in reporting on the resignation of the Mayor of Rose Hall, stated that most of the names of the members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) had been given to the Minister of Local Government but goes on further to state,

“However, the PNCR is yet to submit the names of those they wish to be on the committee”.

This statement infers that the PNCR is party to the establishment of the IMC in Rose Hall and had either been requested to, or had undertaken, to supply nominees for that Committee. The PNCR categorically states that it has never been involved in any consultations or discussions with any agency concerning the problems of the Rose Hall Municipality.

The Minister of Local Government had late last year ordered an investigation into the Municipality without reference to the PNCR and the report of the enquiry has not been made available to it. The Party has also never been informed about any decision to establish an IMC. We therefore urge Kaieteur News to reveal the source of its information so that the PNCR can determine the source of the mischief.

The PNCR position on the problems affecting various Local Government bodies is well-known. The Party participated in the Task Force on Local Government reform that made several recommendations for the reform of the Local Government system as directed by the constitutional reform process. It was generally agreed that the problems affecting most Local Government bodies in Guyana were largely due to the antiquated laws, the inadequate revenue base and partisan political interference. It is for this reason that among the reforms proposed by the Task Force is a formula for fiscal transfers to these Local Government bodies to avoid ministerial discretion being exercised in a partisan way. The key to the solution of the problems facing Local Government bodies cannot be solved by the arbitrary appointments of Interim Management Committees across the country, but in the expeditious drafting of new legislation, the enactment of these laws by Parliament and the implementation of a reliable system of fiscal transfers.

The PNCR has already stated that the plan by President Jagdeo to establish an IMC in Georgetown is born out of the desire to exercise political control over the city and elsewhere in the period prior to General Elections in 2006 and we will not be a willing party to these manoeuvres.

We call on the Editor of Kaieteur News to correct the misleading information published in Saturday April 16, 2005 issue.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
April 19, 2005