The principles of democracy and good governance are enshrined within Guyana’s Constitution. Article 9 states, ‘Sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it through their representatives and the democratic organs established by or under this Constitution.’ Article 13 states that, ‘The principal objective of the political system of the State is to establish an inclusionary democracy by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens and their organisations in the management and decision-making processes of the State, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision-making that directly affect their well-being.’
The Constitution, therefore, makes crystal clear that: supreme power or authority (sovereignty) to make decisions which affect their lives, belongs to the people. It is clear too, that elected representatives exist to give effect to the will of the people and include the maximum number of citizens in this democratic process.
Democracy is government by the people. It includes the principles of protection of individual rights; citizen participation in government affairs; political tolerance and respect for the rights and interests of minorities; transparency in government decision-making; equality of opportunity and access to government services. (NDI)
Local Governance Defined
Local governance is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a community’s affairs. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences. (UNDP)
Good Governance Defined
Good Governance is governance that is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and which follows the rule of law. (UNDP)