McKenzie Raises Alarm Regarding Legality of Local Government
Opposition Spokesman on Local Government, Mr. Desmond McKenzie, is today raising an alarm regarding the legality of the local government system as June 30 marks the deadline by which the elections that are due by law should have been held.
Mr. McKenzie said: "The Government's failure to hold local government elections or fulfill the legal requirements for postponement is bringing the local government system into disrepute. If the government does not act, then the entire system will be operating in conflict with the law, but even if they act now, they have been irresponsible in treating the matter this way. The legal provisions regarding the holding of local government elections or postponing those elections are quite clear. As a matter of urgency, the country needs to know why there has been this silence and failure on the part of the Government where the requisite announcements and action are concerned."
The Opposition Spokesman continued: "Our Local Government authorities and the functions carried out by them are far too important to our daily lives for us to have them in abeyance or in a position where their legal standing is in question. It cannot be that the Government, because of its fear of facing the people in an election, is sacrificing the local government system on the altar of political expediency. There are places around the world where people are still fighting for the opportunity to exercise the democratic right of voting, so we should respect and preserve the privilege of our local systems."
Mr. McKenzie is urging the Government to act quickly as he says it would be unfortunate and irresponsible to have local government operating illegally. He said: "Failure on the part of the Government to act now will jeopardize the integrity of the local government system and give further credence to that recent LAPOP study which found that of the 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries surveyed, Jamaica has the lowest levels of satisfaction and confidence in local government".