Ubraj Narine elected Mayor of Georgetown

Georgetown mayor-elect Ubraj Narine
Georgetown mayor-elect Ubraj Narine

APNU Councillor Ubraj Narine is the new Mayor of Georgetown. Narine, who won Constituency One (Kingston East and West, Thomas Lands, Nonpareil Park, Cummingsburg, Alberttown and Queenstown) at the November 12th local polls, was elected when the new councillors of the municipality met on 30th November 2018.


Pandit Ubraj Narine is new Mayor of Georgetown – Alfred Mentore is Deputy

Councillor-Elect, Clayton Hinds, being sworn in

the mayoral post, while the Alliance for Change was represented by Michael Leonard. Leonard, however, was not allowed a chance to vie in the mayoral election, since his nomination was not seconded as was observed for the other candidates.

As one councillor was in absentia, 29 councillors voted yesterday. Councillors from the PPP/C and Alliance For Change had attempted to have the voting done via secret ballot, but their bid failed, because it did not receive a majority of votes. By a show of hands, Narine was elected by an overwhelming majority of 21 councillors, receiving the unanimous approval of APNU’s contingent. Kuppen managed a modest six votes, by all of the present PPP/C councillors.

Mayor-Elect Narine, took over the chairmanship of the session immediately after his election, and presided over the election of the deputy mayor and the finance committee.

The election of the deputy mayor saw Alfred Mentore square off against the PPP/C’s Deon Young. The AFC’s nominee, Ayodele Roach, was not permitted to vie for the post, since her nomination was not seconded. Mentore received 23 votes in favour of his candidacy while Young only received six.

The seven councillors elected to the finance committee were Yvonne Ferguson, Tricia Richards, Alfred Mentore, Patricia Chase-Green, Oscar Clarke, Ivelaw Henry and Bisham Kuppen. The other nominees for the finance committee, Dimitri Ali and Ayodele Roach, received the least number of votes. Notably, Bisham Kuppen of the PPP/C, received the highest number of votes, as his membership in the finance committee was supported by the APNU councillors. Of these councillors, Oscar Clarke was elected as Chairperson, while Patricia Chase-Green was elected as Deputy Chairperson.

Mayor-Elect, Ubraj Narine, chairing the election proceedings

These appointments come after the contentious Local Government Elections for the 15 constituencies of the city of Georgetown recorded a mere 28.3% voter turnout.

In his address to the councillors, Mayor-Elect Narine mentioned the challenges currently being faced: “a ballooning budgetary deficit, late payment and non-payment of staff, debts mounting to hundreds of millions to private contractors and struggles of collection of rates and taxes”. He explained that his priorities include environmental protection, thriving businesses, opportunities for the young, and services for the city’s residents that are uncompromisingly excellent.

Councillor Chase-Green told Narine that she supports his mayorship entirely. However, she warned the mayor of unsavoury individuals who she believes he will encounter throughout his tenure, stating that “not every skin-teeth is laugh, and not every shut-eye is sleep”. She told Narine that there are many “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, and that he should be careful about who he trusts.

Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor-Elect, as well as other councillors, lauded the People’s National Congress Reform for their successes and pledged loyalty to that political force. As a response to this, Councillor for the AFC, Michael Leonard, told the gathering that they should put aside partisanship in the best interests of the country, and that there should be no secrets. Fellow AFC Councillor Ayodele Roach, echoed his sentiments, and said that she refuses to engage in party politics.

Roach, a first-time councillor, is 19 years old, and is one of the youngest persons ever to sit on the council for the city of Georgetown. The young councillor told the gathering that she will act in the best interests of the city, and that she has no sinister intentions. Roach said that she acts as a representative for the youths of Georgetown, and by extension, Guyana.

Amna Ally, Minister of Social Protection, was present at the election. In her address, she praised the PNCR and, by extension, the Coalition government. She said that the country has witnessed the return of democracy, referring to the fact that the recent local government election was the second of its kind in over two decades.

In an interview with Kaieteur News, PPP/C Councillor Bisham Kuppen posited that party politics will come into play in the future and that the council needs much more diversity and a radical shift in how it is managed to bring about real change. He noted that the votes for the finance committee were recast because of an error in recording by the Assistant Town Clerk.

When the votes were recast, the APNU contingent nominated two more persons for the finance committee than the first time, and Kuppen believes that this is because they wanted more control over the committee, since the PPP/C had nominated three persons to that committee. He stated that the city’s residents are not content with the record of the ruling party, and that that is reflected by the fact that the PPP/C has five more persons on the council than the previous local government election had earned them.

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