Only elections can break gridlock

-Rohee tells Babu John commemoration

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee said people are growing restless and uncomfortable politically and only general elections can change the situation.

Speaking at the death anniversary of the late presidents Cheddi and Janet Jagan at Babu John, Port Mourant, Corentyne yesterday, he said persons are “now turning their backs” on the Alliance For Change and “were returning to their rightful home, the PPP – the only party that holds true to its policy.”

There were also sentiments expressed  by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds. President Donald Ramotar was not present as he is attending the Summit of Caricom Heads and his message was read by First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar.

The prime minister said “there will be another election, whenever it may be and we want to ensure that in the next election we have the majority, an overwhelming majority of Guyanese voting with us.” That was a clear reference to the government’s minority status in Parliament.

A section of the gathering at Babu John
A section of the gathering at Babu John

He challenged the gathering to make it happen by “persuading others to come with us… and by putting aside all the concerns and fears and insecurities” of the party.

Hinds stressed that winning the majority would ensure that the country would be built more “rapidly and more soundly.”

Rohee wanted to let A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) know that “come what may, we would always be ready in the same way we were ready when we were in the opposition… We remain ready as we are in the government.”

Rohee said the opposition was “messing around with the country’s future,” referring to the anti-money laundering bill and is “blocking progress in this country.”

He said they were also “hungry for political power. Now that they have a majority of one seat in the parliament they are smelling political power in the Office of the President.”

The opposition, he said, seeks to “bully the government and wants it to bow to their whims and fancies” but pledged that his party would “remain solid as a rock.”

He charged that the opposition is trying to “damage the economy and create difficulties for the working class and were pushing for a situation where difficult circumstances would emerge and people would be provoked to take to the streets.”

According to him, people are beginning to get tired with the behaviour of the opposition in parliament and were tired of  the `fighting down’.

This, he said, can only change through fresh elections. “We agreed that we need to correct some of our mistakes that we have made and we are bold enough, we are big enough, we are mature to correct whatever mistakes on the ground.”

He said too, “Many who voted in the last elections never anticipated that political developments would turn out that way and “expected that the AFC and the APNU would be in bed together…”

First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar laying a wreath at the memorial. Prime Minister Sam Hinds is at right.  
First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar laying a wreath at the memorial. Prime Minister Sam Hinds is at right.

He said: “Comrades, never mind what they say or do, the People’s Progressive Party remains the largest and strongest political force in this country.”

But he urged the gathering to “stay on the alert and be aware of the political adversary that is waiting to ensure that the PPP does not remain this solid political force…”

He called on them not to allow the opposition to succeed as they would “do everything to make us look bad” as though “Guyana is the most corrupt country in the world and that we in the PPP cannot run a government.”

He told them look at what the party has done from 1957 to 1964 and what we are doing now. “Compare that record with the 28 years that the PNC now called APNU had done.”

He then said that they do not have to go back so far to make that comparison and but to look at the way the city council in Georgetown is being run. Rohee lashed out that “if they cannot run a city, how can they expect to run a government.”

He said that this was the longest period that they have been in government in the history of the party. He contended that the 21 years have been productive years and have not been wasted.

The projects have touched the lives of thousands of Guyanese in one way or another, making reference to some sectors including health, education, security and housing.

He said “we would be the first to admit that there is room for improvement; there is much more work to be done… More is yet to be done and more is yet to come for the working people and farmers of this country.”

The party and the government have not given up on hydro-electricity, modernization of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, the new Marriott Hotel and the speciality hospital.

Those projects are important for the country and that Guyanese would benefit enormously from them.

He said that in parliament the opposition is “behaving as though they are the most knowledgeable and as they know it all and have all the answers.”

According to him, the APNU and the AFC like to “pretend that they have the interest of the workers at heart and to add insult to injury they have declared 2014 as the year of the workers.”

Meanwhile, he said as they celebrate the legacy of Dr. Jagan, they extended support and solidarity to the people of Palestine who continue to struggle to establish a Palestinian state. The same sentiments were also expressed to the people of Cuba who continue to fight against isolation and the US embargo and to the people of Syria against foreign military intervention.

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