May I offer my congratulations to Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar on being elected the 7th President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana at the 2011 General Elections. May God bless and guide him not to repeat the mistakes of his immediate predecessor.
However, the Statements of Poll (SOP) need to be verified to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of Guyanese on the allocation of seats in the National Assembly. I fully endorse the AFC’s agitation for this to be done judiciously. That Gecom has agreed to make the SOPs available to all political parties is good sense. We need peace in Guyana.
Returning to the presidency, as a citizen of Guyana, albeit one with a different political view, it is my duty to respect the Office of the President and my responsibility to work with everyone in the national interest of our country. As in the case of his predecessor, I will be watching with keen interest his policy initiatives and his stance on nation building. For me, the immediate priorities confronting Mr Ramotar will be burning national issues like the establishment of the Procurement Commission, the injustice of the Jagdeo pension package, the strengthening and preservation of the independence of national institutions like the central bank, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, the Ethnic Relations Commission, the Integrity Commission, the Public Service Appellant Tribunal and the Office of the Ombudsman. I will stand ready to assess our new President after 100 days in office on his deliverables against his campaign promises, and whether his modus operandi is any different from that of his predecessor.
May I also take the opportunity to join with Mr Khemraj Ramjattan, Ms Cathy Hughes, Mr Moses Nagamootoo and Mr Raphael Trotman in thanking those 35,333 Guyanese who defied the appeal to vote race by voting solidly for reason with the AFC. I join with my leaders is expressing deep gratitude to them for their support of the cause that we represented. Their votes counted.
The PPP won the presidency but lost parliamentary power. I would like to specifically recognize the members in the central Corentyne sugar belt. They have revolutionized politics in Guyana forever as they stood for reason. Thank you.
These elections were extraordinary. A hung parliament is a dream for Guyana. Some are concerned that such a status could hamper the government’s programme. Let me be clear, no politician will vote against any policy in the National Assembly which will be beneficial to all of Guyana. Hence, Guyanese have presented the Ramotar administration with a unique opportunity to build a nation. If the new President is skilful at finding common ground, he can swing a minority vote into a majority.
In closing, I would like to recognize the AFC Team who worked Georgetown with special acknowledgement to people like Nigel Hughes, Seivwright Benjamin, Teone Hunte, Denise Lukas and the scores of other youthful volunteers, mainly African-Guyanese, who each day clearly reminded me that we have more in common than our differences. We cried, laughed and advocated with one voice – the voice of reason; our vision was one – to educate our fellow Guyanese away from race-based politics towards the politics of issues and principles.
I saw this small group at work and I know that my dream of a Guyana of reason is not impossible. It is my hope that 2016 will realize this.
May God be with Guyana.