Govt reverts constituency boundaries changed under APNU/AFC

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall

Fourteen areas in which boundaries were modified by the former APNU/AFC Government will be reverted leading up to the March 2023 Local Government Elections to allow for better representation.

Local Government Elections will be held on March 13, 2023. Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall announced at a press conference on Friday that changes were made after consultations with communities and residents in the interest of democracy building.

While the decision was made to revert boundaries to before they was changed in the year 2016, other communities which were previously not captured will be placed under townships and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils. In some areas, NDCs will also be merged or split.

“There are 14 areas that were affected in 2018 and we have decided that for better representation, that those areas go back to the 2016 constituency boundaries…We are aware that local democracy is essential to the overall development of communities, our people and our country,” he commented.

In Region One, there will be an extension of the boundaries of Mabaruma township to capture Wauna, putting them under an institutionalised administration. Previously in 2018 local polls, they were left out of the township as the Minister now assured of zero discrimination.

In Region Two, where the constituency boundaries collapsed or merged, he said this decision of the previous Administration will be reversed. In the Pomeroon River, due to difficulties in service delivery, there will be a merger to form one NDC of Kitty-Providence and Moruca-Felix.

In Region Three, reverted boundaries will also follow for some NDCs to allow for better representation. Meanwhile the Toevlugt-Patentia constituency will be extended to Free and Easy, capturing hundreds of residents.

In Region Four, reverting the boundaries will also be done for some areas where there was a consolidation of NDCs. In Region Five, Woodlands Farm had been expanded to include De Hoop access road residents who were left out of an administrative area.

“Beyond Number 10 Mahaica, Little Biaboo, Big Biaboo, those areas where people actually live, they will not be part of the NDC areas,” he added.

Over in Region Six, the largest NDC area of Number 52 – Number 74 will be split into two local bodies.

Other areas such as Mahdia, Lethem, Linden and Georgetown will remain the same. No boundaries have been contracted nor have the number of constituencies reduced, he added.

The complement of councillors will also increase in the 80 Local Authority Areas. In 2018, this number was 1192 councillors in 596 constituencies. For the 2023 polls, there will be 1220 councillors in 610 constituencies.

The Minister shared that there has been challenges in local democratic organs but Government is confident that this will be improved post-elections. He reminded that when the changes were made in 2016, the then Ministry of Communities failed to hold consultations with residents across the respective areas.