We’re just a few weeks away from electing new community representatives at Local Government Elections. Unfortunately, most citizens going to the polls will be doing so for the very first time, since Local Government Elections were not held for more than 20 years. In fact, this is only the second time it is being held in 46 years, since prior to 1994 it was only held in 1970. This means for someone to have participated in LGE twice, that person would have be be 64 years or older.
As a result, a large percentage of the persons going to the polls do not understand the LGE process and some candidates are using this as an opportunity to mislead the public.
We should not play on or attempt to capitalize on the ignorance of the voters. As candidates we should be honest and forthright with our constituents – correctly informing them of the process by which the mayor will be elected. To suggest, either through our campaign materials or by word-of-mouth that citizens are directly electing their mayor is disingenuous or downright dishonest.
Recognizing the deficiencies with GECOM’s public education campaign, the onus is on us, the aspiring representatives to demonstrate leadership now – even before we assume council seats.
To the voters – you do not directly elect a mayor.
You vote for and elect a representative who becomes the councilor for your constituency. The councilors then elect the mayor from among themselves.
In my constituency (14), there are multiple persons contesting for the position of councilor. However, being elected as a councilor does not guarantee anyone the mayoral position, this should be made clear.
It is crucial that you understand the complete process.
Candidate for constituency 14 South Ruimveldt Park, Ruimveldt, Industrial Estate