St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen. –
ST AUGUSTINE MP Khadija Ameen says the postponement of the local government elections was an action that flew in the face of democracy.
She spoke at the weekly UNC press briefing held virtually on Sunday.
She made the statement ahead of a debate on the extension of the terms of the office and validation of the municipal corporations expected to be held in Parliament on Monday.
“When Faris Al-Rawi, Minister of Local Government, in an announcement to the media extended the term of local government representatives he essentially postponed the local government elections by a year. We maintain that it was improper, illegal and against democracy.”
The terms of councillors and aldermen expired in December 2022, but were extended for another year. The Privy Council ruled the extension unlawful, however.
Ameen said reports that were supposed to be laid in Parliament and by-elections that were supposed to be held because of the death of a local government representative were also put on the back burner until the UNC took legal action.
Coming out of the UNC’s legal challenge, the Privy Council ruled on May 18 that the Government was wrong to postpone the local government elections and extend representatives’ tenure by a year.
“The opposition are the guardians of democracy and must hold government accountable,” Ameen said. “This is the PNM’s mess and they now have to come to Parliament to clean up the mess they made.”