The race card was an absolute no on the Region 10 campaign trail

Dear Editor,

With respect to the remarks made by President Donald Ramotar, in the February 12 edition of the Sunday Chronicle, it is not that I cannot appreciate the hurt which the President feels at not having the majority in Parliament, however, there certainly was no need for the President to make such ill-advised and inflammatory remarks.

President Ramotar’s statement that, in Linden, “…the opposition carried a very strong racial line in their campaign’“is an indictment of all the people of this region who are – albeit indirectly – being chastised for the choice they made on November 28, 2011. As the then Campaign Manager for APNU in Region 10, I take the President’s remarks to be a direct attack on my character. I am in no way a racist and as such would never run a campaign that sought to be racially divisive. Furthermore, as campaign manager, I endeavoured at every community meeting except two, to point out to residents of Region 10 that I embody the persona of what constitutes a multicultural Guyanese – that is an Afro-Guyanese with an East Indian first name, a Biblical surname, who practises a Far Eastern religion. As such, the race card was an absolute no on the campaign trail.

There are countless others like me who represent the new face of Guyanese politics; people who think that race-based politics should be a thing of the past as they only serve to divide the nation and distract us from path to progress. The Region 10 APNU election campaign used a strategy which engaged the people on issues which affect them. It was a campaign with a vibrant theme, which followed strict guidelines that did not allow for the raining of verbal abuse on the voting public.

The people of Region 10 – feeling deeply disillusioned with the previous administration – heard our message and voted for change. They voted for access to another radio and television station, other than the government-controlled NCN. They voted against mismanagement by the PPP government which left them feeling disenfranchised.

Guyana’s electorate – particularly that of Region 10 – has spoken loud and clear. Therefore, I would urge the President to desist from ignoring the voice of the people of this great nation and instead listen to what they have to say. I strongly recommend that Mr Ramotar retract his inciteful remarks, apologize, and move on by working for and earning the respect of all Guyanese.

In closing, I caution residents of Region 10 to remain focused as I strongly believe that these baseless remarks were meant to distract us from the real work at hand which is helping to build a prosperous and united nation.

Yours faithfully,
Sharma Solomon          

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