Region 5 RDC meeting abruptly ends after disruptions by Govt Councillors

first_imgThe Region Five Regional Democratic Council’s (RDC’s) statutory meeting was abruptly adjourned on Thursday after constant interruptions by the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Councillors.This is the 13th consecutive month that the RDC has not been able to hold a successful statutory meeting.At Thursday’s meeting, coalition Councillor Delon Crawford refused to take his seat when instructed by Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal to do so on several occasions.Crawford told the Regional Chairman he has the right to stand and speak on a point of order while the Chairman was speaking.His colleague, Abel Seetaram, also supported him. Seetaram also accused the Chairman of not providing accurate information to the RDC.The coalition Councillors accused Ramphal of trying to stifle development in the region while Ramphal has continuously repeated those accusations against the coalition Councillors as he pointed out the lack of progress as a result of the disrupted meetings.After about 30 minutes, Ramphal adjourned the meeting since he was being interrupted when he tried to address the Council.Ramphal at a subsequent press conference explained that since February last year, the RDC has not been able hold a meaningful meeting because of these disruptions.Over the past year, many of the issues affecting the people of Region Five have not been addressed at the RDC level.In both 2016 and 2017 the coalition refused to sit in most of the meetings.In May 2017, they walked out after the Regional Executive Officer Ovid Morrison demanded an apology from the Chairman.The Regional Executive Officer (REO) said his creditability was at stake after the Chairman called for an investigation into allegations that two NDC officials had used an NDIA machine to carry out personal work. Morrison said he saw the machine being used and is of the opinion that since he stated that he saw the machine carrying out personal work, no investigation is needed and to call for an investigation is an insult to his integrity.“In March of 2018, the Regional Executive Officer who is the Clerk of the Council had wanted to remove a Guyana Times reporter and because I strongly objected to that, saying that the Council must pronounce on the matter and then take action, the Clerk of Council refused to sit in the meeting and walked out,” Ramphal informed reporters.Following the REO’s walk out of the March meeting, coalition Councillors and support staff also followed him.The meeting was subsequently adjourned by the Chairman after the REO and coalition Councillors failed to return.After some time, the REO returned to the Chambers and conducted an unauthorised meeting. Since then, coalition Councillors have been trying to get the RDC to ratify the minutes for that meeting and the Chairman maintains that he will not be part of it.“This is a democratic council and so the democratic rights of the people must be respected. The laws and standing orders that govern the Council must be respected at all times and so I will not allow the Clerk of the Council and the coalition Councillors to conduct any illegal activity and with this, I am referring to the minutes,” Ramphal said.Meanwhile, in addressing allegations that he does not want the region to move forward, Ramphal said it was untrue.“Since I took up the position as Chairman of this region, my main objective has been to always address the issues affecting the people of this region. I always have the interest of the people at heart and I will continue to do so, however I will not allow any illegality.”During the meeting, Ramphal announced that for them to move forward, they must ratify the minutes of the February 2018 meeting.Following the Government Councillors’ refusal to have discussions at meetings in 2016 and 2017, Councillors on both the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and coalition side of the House made an attempt in August 2017, to resolve the impasse which has been affecting the RDC preventing it from having any meaningful meeting. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img

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