President Irfaan Ali, after casting his vote in the 2023 Local Government Election (LGE), took the opportunity to strongly denounce the assertions made by Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton this morning, where he claimed that if the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) were to secure rulership of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, rates and taxes would be increased.
Dismissing Norton’s remarks as “absolute rubbish,” the President emphasized that such rhetoric exemplifies the kind of politics that has “kept societies back.” Ali stressed that the PPP’s sole objective for Georgetown is to drive development, enhance welfare, improve communities, and strengthen leadership.
He said if one were to look at all the PPP candidates in Georgetown and other areas, they would see young candidates with experience. Regarding these young individuals, the President said he found it disrespectful for Norton to speak negatively about them, highlighting that many of these candidates had supported Norton in 2015, and some had even been candidates for his party. He expressed his concern over Norton’s devaluation of individuals who had previously served his cause, while noting that he finds it difficult to reconcile such treatment.
Furthermore, President Ali clarified that the PPP is not focused on “taking over communities and increasing taxes.” He said the party’s primary focus is on development and improvement, having even eliminated various taxes since returning to power in 2020.
Addressing concerns about voter apathy towards the LGE, often overshadowed by General Elections, the President was keen to underscore the importance of this exercise. He noted the persistent issue of hesitancy and low turnout, attributing it to the mistaken notion that LGEs are less urgent or significant. Stressing the democratic system’s significance, the renewal of leadership, community development, and the synergy between central and local government, Ali urged citizens to exercise their right to vote.
President Ali also highlighted the lack of cooperation and partisan practices favouring the opposition in various areas of Georgetown over the years, hindering development. With the City Council under opposition rule for approximately 57 years, the PPP is hopeful for an opportunity to assume leadership following the LGE.