THE government’s failure to enact local government reform was identified by Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah as the reason behind the party’s decision not to contest the July 16, by-elections for the electoral districts of Barataria and Belmont East.
“The PNM in its manifesto of 2015 put forward that they were going to engage in a process of reform of local government as one of the major planks of their commitment to that manifesto,” he said. “More than eighteen months have elapsed since the local government elections of 2016 and not a word have been heard or been uttered from the government with respect to the reform of local government,” he said.
He said no policy documents have been put forward while no draft legislation had been tabled in parliament since the ruling party took office in 2015.
“This is not acceptable. We have decided not to contest the Barataria seat nor the Belmont East seat in the by-elections which are scheduled for next month,” he said.
Addressing a media conference at the party’s St Joseph road, San Fernando headquarters yesterday, Abdulah said the MSJ would focus on ensuring that local government reform was enacted before the 2019 Local Government election.