THE EDITOR: On May 18 the Privy Council ruled that changing the term of local representatives in the Local Government Reform Act passed by a PNM majority without opposition support was wrong and cannot happen as the representatives were elected for a three-year term in 2019.
Local government elections were supposed to be held by March 4 this year, but coming out of the partial proclamation of the reform legislation, the Government put forward that the elections would be conducted a year later.
The Privy Council decision means the extension of the term of office of the local government corporations is not valid and the elected aldermen and councillors cannot continue to perform their functions.
So the Government only has one real option – to call the local government elections now. But it must also bring legislation to Parliament to ratify all decisions by the various corporations that occurred between March 4 and May 18.
The Opposition Leader called this a landmark verdict a victory for the people as it was wrong for the Government to extend the term of aldermen and councillors in an attempt to take control of the function of the electorate.
So, in my humble opinion, the elections must be called now as any contract awarded by any corporation since March 4 may be deemed illegal. As the Opposition has pointed out over the last couple of days, the Government has run out of options.
Don’t we find it strange that we have heard nothing from Prime Minister Rowley, Attorney General Reginald Armour and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi on the Government's next step? Just deafening silence?
DR NEIL GOSINE