Elections underway in Region Two Amerindian villages

GUYANA, SOUTH AMERICA - Village elections have commenced countrywide in several Amerindian communities to determine whether there will be new leadership or the past toshaos will be returned to office.

In Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), regional officials proceeded to the areas last week and are at present moving from village to village to conduct the elections, according to Regional Information Officer, Rajendra Prabulall, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

Amerindians have already begun to cast their votes and Prabulall explained that the elections should come to a close by next week.

Under the new Amerindian Bill, these elections can now be held every three years instead of every two years.

During the past few years, a number of villages lobbied for the removal of their captains, who were subsequently relieved of their duties as a result of accountability issues and other problems. According to GINA, some of the villages include Wiruni in Region Ten and Orealla/Siparuta in Region Six. Meanwhile, others have retained their leadership and the successes of some of those villages have been quite visible, GINA said.

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs has been assisting Amerindian communities in the form of training programmes to boost the capacity of captains and councils and to allow them to improve their managerial skills. Councils were trained in areas such as governance and legal issues, public administration and finance, environmental management, project management, community development and decision-making.

The last elections in Region Two Amerindian communities were conducted in April, 2004, GINA added.

Source: http://www.stabroeknews.com/