THE results of the national and regional elections held on May 11, after a prolonged and anxious wait, were announced on Saturday and Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger, Leader of the APNU+AFC Coalition was sworn in as the 8th President of Guyana.As congratulations continue to pour in for the new government and its leaders, the Guyana Chronicle invited comments from the man-in-the-street. Here are some of the responses:
GAVIN ENGLISH, hire-car driver: “I feel that the Elections was fairly contested, and the champions came out as the champions. I think Mr. David Granger is a fair man, and he would give justice to the people, based on what I have heard from people who worked with him. He is a fair man.
“Right from the vey beginning, I would like to see him cause all the mess that has been done for 23 years to be cleaned up; I would like him to especially take a look at the crime situation we have in this country, because crime is at an all-time high in this country. I’d like him to inject more into education and training for the young people, and moreso to see the creation of jobs for them. “As promised by him, I would really like to see old age pension and public assistance doubled to better take care of the needs of our pensioners.”
DESMOND ZEPHYR, missionary: “I feel that all Guyana is in favour of this new government, because in them we have decency; we have morality, honesty, and integrity; all you can ever want. I am a born Buxtonian, and had this election gone otherwise, I would have gone right back to the United States. God bless the new leadership!
“The first thing I would like to see them do is have Local Government Elections, because every district would be able to look at its need and the things they would like to accomplish, and move forward with that. We wouldn’t have the town in a condition like this; and every village would have to give account for itself, and everybody would be happy.
“I am told that last night, for example, some people from Annandale and Lusignan came across to Buxton and they all had a wonderful time. And it involved big businessmen and ordinary people as well. That is a healthy sign.”
YVONNE JACK, pensioner: “Having Mr. Granger as President is just wonderful, and I wish him and his Prime Minister and Cabinet God’s speed and abiding favour. We are now looking forward to him delivering what he promised us during the campaign, especially for the youths, because the youth deserve a break in life. They’ve had life too hard for much too long. We need more jobs for them, and an increase in pension for the elderly.
“I am particularly concerned about the situation where two patients are being accommodated on one bed at the Public Hospital. That cannot be comfortable; it is not healthy. People are admitted to hospital because they are sick, and what is happening is that you are exposing people to sicknesses that they did not come to the hospital with. I do not like that at all, and I hope that with the new government, all that would change. It is not nice to see two big grown people sharing one hospital bed.
Then there is the case of those elderly women (advanced in age) who are sitting around selling next to nothing and they have children to provide for. I think those people need more help, because the life of women in this country now is a bit tough.”
RUBY DOPWELL, overseas-based Guyanese: “I am delighted that the APNU+AFC coalition has won, and that we now have Mr. Granger as President and Mr. Moses Nagamoottoo as Prime Minister.
“If Mr. Granger would do all that he promised, it would be a wonderful thing; it would be a feather in his cap. I pray and thank God that he sticks to his programme, and try his best to do all he has promised to do, especially for the elderly, the youth and the hospital. I ask God to keep him, guide and direct him, inspire him to do all that he is supposed to do.
“For example, looking into the interest of the elderly, and I add, getting the people who are sleeping on the streets off the streets. As for the hospital, it is badly in need of venetian blinds; the patients are baking in the sun as they lie in their beds. When I lived here, I was a member of the ‘Friends of the Georgetown Hospital’, and we contributed to satisfying such needs for the hospital. We bought curtains, sheets and pillow slips for the pregnant women.
And most of all, I call for unity among the Guyanese people; let there be no race hate and ethnic division. “Years ago, we had such unity as is evidenced by the many inter-marriages.”
BHOLA PERSAUD, security guard, and LLOYD MARKS, self-employed: “Well, it is nice that we have a new government, but we have to wait and see how things will develop. I want to see them bring down the price of land; it is too high for poor people to afford. Guyana’s got more than enough land for everybody to have a house lot, therefore why make it so difficult for a person to have one to build for his family.
“And yes, I want to let people know that the Coalition party can work, and it will work; Indians and negroes can co-exist. Look at me and my friend Lloyd Marks here; we’ve been friends for years, and no elections can bring us a part.
“I am hoping that Mr. Granger can deliver what he promised, because we’ve been hearing promises for 23 years now, and that’s a very long time. They did do some things, but when Bharrat was there, he had his cronies; and the people in the country suffered, because he made some promises, like reducing VAT, and he did not keep them. And the people get frustrated. Don’t ever promise if you cannot deliver; you don’t know what it can do to people building their dreams around those promises; so you end up with people who are broken, empty and bitter; that’s not a nice way to be. Some people even run off their rockers.”
MARCIA FORDYCE: “I feel good and optimistic about the APNU+AFC coalition. I wish Mr. Granger every success, and God’s richest blessings and guidance. I would like see the government reduce VAT, reduce the Berbice Bridge toll, and work towards the creation of more jobs for young people, as well as scholarships for them so they can pursue higher learning in areas not offered by the University of Guyana.”
SHAUNDELL MELVILLE, student: “Voting for the first time was a great experience for me; the procedure I had to go through wasn’t hard, and I really appreciate how they conducted the process. Everything went smoothly and peacefully. Now that we have a new government, the changes I would like to see are: The creation of employment for us young people,because most of the youth who come out of school don’t get jobs right away, so I vote for a change.”
MOHAMED SALIM, bus driver: “I feel that we needed a change, and that is the change that would bring about happiness and prosperity. For the past 23 years is one government working, and is sheer promises. Well, it’s time to give somebody else a chance; we can’t continue to live on promises.
“I would like to see more development; the completion of projects. Many of these projects just begin and are left incomplete; and that you could say is money gone down the line. Finally, I would like to see unity among the races; we need one another, and must love one another.”
RABINDRA DEBIDEEN, conductor: “I would like to see the government get about the business of creating jobs for young people; ensure security for the people; in their homes, on the streets and even at work, people must be secure. There are too many robberies and killings. I support the new government; we are all Guyanese, and we’re one people. We have to support each other; we have to work as one and build Guyana, so that when the tourists come, they have something positive to see and can admire and respect our country and always want to come back. It will bring in money into this country. Guyana is a beautiful country, and has lots to offer in the line of tourism.”
MARIE GUNRAJ, Holland-based Guyanese: “I am Guyanese, but I live in Holland and have come home for some sunshine. They say that the APNU+AFC coalition is the best Party, and I am happy about that; but now it will have to prove itself. I hope they can cause a cleanup of the city, and have it restored to its former glory. I pray that we can all work together and make Guyana the place it used to be.”
RAS SHARPLES: “I want to wish the new leader, President Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootto all the best from the Stabroek Warriors of Big Market. I feel good about the new Leader. Right now, Georgetown feel different; you feel like a burden come off you back. Like that slavery thing, and that dictator thing and that ‘bad boy’ thing come off your back so. I feel good and you getting that sense right throughout the town.
However Stabroek Market in a deteriorating condition right now and I would like to see Stabroek get some attention, likewise the Mayor and City Council should get the place back in order.
Omica Douglas: I am happy that the Government change so we could get a better education for our children and we could get house lots and other things. I applied in 2010 for a house lot and they told me is not my time I have to go back and wait. Now five years later and I still ‘waiting me turn’ and what I managed to save up for a louse lot five years ago cannot buy one right now, let alone ‘when it is my turn’.
DWAYNE HICKS, businessman: “I would like to congratulate Mr. David Granger and Mr. Nagamoottoo. My desire is for them to look out for the young people of this country; they have proven themselves as sensible, serious minded and mature people who came out in all their numbers to vote for the government of their choice on Elections Day. They have spoken, and they deserve to be heard. Young people need jobs; those coming of age need land at affordable cost.
“We also want that the Banks should be more accommodating when people approach them for loans to build or do whatever legitimate business; it hurts to know that you have a transport and it is not being accepted by the Bank as collateral. What are we to do? We have children, and need to live stable and progressive lives so that our children can have what the majority of us did not have. But in this regard, the Banks are not customer- friendly; the advertisement is good, but the reception is not.”
ROBERT BYZETT: “We are glad for a change, because right now it real rough as young men, trying to build a family and achieve anything in Guyana. It’s time for everybody to be treated equal; not some got rights and others don’t have.”