ACTING Prime Minister Colm Imbert has dismissed the Opposition Leader’s claims that the government is trying to postpone local government elections as “just nonsense.”
At the post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Imbert reiterated that according to the current rules, local government elections are due sometime after November 28.
There’s a mandatory period of three years before the local government elections can be called, he said, as opposed to the general election, which can be called at any time during a term. A full term of office is five years. The general election is due in September 2020, although the government has a 90-day window thereafter during which elections must be called.
At the UNC’s Monday Night Forum this week, Kamla Persad-Bissessar claimed the government planned to call the local government election concurrently with the general election, and was trying to pass legislation – the Miscellaneous Provisions (Local Government Reform) Bill 2019 – to extend the term of councillors and aldermen from three to four years.
Imbert said the possibility of both elections being called at the same time was remote and Persad-Bissessar was saying ridiculous things.
“I have been at the Prime Minister’s side inside and out of Parliament (when he said) general election will be called when they are constitutionally due. He has made that crystal clear. I see no reason why anybody would want to distort that into some fanciful Anansi story that local government and general elections will be the same time. That’s nonsense.”