Several boundaries of local authority areas and communities in the ten administrative regions have been reverted to what they were in 2016, a move Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall says would foster greater representation of citizens at the March 13, 2023 Local Government Elections.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall on Friday during a press conference said that the decision to return to the 2016 district boundaries is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to ensure that Guyanese are not disenfranchised.
The Minister alleged that many of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) were changed by the APNU+AFC administration leading up to Local Government Elections in 2018, and consequently, a number of constituencies were reduced and people were forced into constituencies where the coalition [APNU+AFC] had a strong support base.
He noted that there were instances in Region One (Barima-Waini), where residents of Wauna were left without local government representation as a result of the boundaries being adjusted by the former Government. However, the Mabaruma boundary has since been extended to incorporate those residents.
“Previously, and I believe this was a deliberate ploy of the last administration, residents of Wauna were left out of the township of Mabaruma because they primarily supported the People’s Progressive Party Civic, but I would like to happily report that the residents would now be part of an institutionalized administration,” he said.
In Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Dharamlall informed, the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils for communities in the lower Pomeroon River will be merged due to the population size.
“We have decided to merge the NDCs of Kitty-Providence and Moruca/Phoenix areas since the population size is very small,” the Minister added.
Across in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), the Toevlugt-Patentia boundary has been expanded to Free and Easy to capture hundreds of residents beyond the communities. Similar adjustments have been made in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) in pursuit of optimal local authority representation for residents.
Over in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), the Woodlands/Farm NDC was expanded to include the DeHoop Access Road, beyond Number 10 Mahaica and the Little Biaboo and Big Biaboo communities.
In response to calls for an adjustment of the largest NDC area, Number 52-Number 74 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), the Government has decided to split the local authority area in two. Number 52 – Number 63 and Number 64- Number 74 will now be manned by two separate NDCs.
The Local Government and Regional Development Minister divulged that no boundaries have been contracted or any seats reduced. He said the adjustments have paved the way for 14 additional constituencies and 28 new councillors.