CRUCIAL CHOICE… President urges Guyana to support coalition at next polls

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High Five! President David Granger greets pupils of the St. John the Baptist Primary School Tuesday morning during his visit to Bartica. Also in photo is Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry

…says gov’t’ on right path after 23 years of stagnation under PPP administration
…declares respect for CCJ ruling; but maintains no confidence vote was invalid

President David Granger has urged Guyanese to support him and the APNU+AFC Coalition at the next elections, even as he declared his respect for Tuesday’s Caribbean Court of Justice rulings on the no confidence motion against his government and his earlier appointment of Justice James Patterson as the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.

In a televised address to the nation President Granger said: “Guyana, since my election in 2015, has been moving in the right direction after 23 years of stagnation under successive PPP administrations. Significant progress has been made. But real change is neither quick nor easy to come by. There is still a lot more to do.”

He said he would devote his time serve all citizens. “I will devote all my energies until the forthcoming election to serve our people and our country and deliver good governance. Guyanese can confidently expect to live in a country that is moving forward; with communities that are safer; in a society that is more cohesive; with better infrastructure, greater access to quality education and an economy that is more resilient – providing better jobs.”

Noting that his administration is on the right path the Guyanese leader said,” when the election comes, I urge all our people, of whatever background, to support me and the APNU+AFC coalition to give us the opportunity to secure the best future for Guyana. I call on all Guyanese to remain calm and I assure you that the Government will abide by the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”

Meanwhile, on the no-confidence motion, President Granger said the December 21, 2018 vote and the independent legal processes in the courts that followed it, have been of utmost importance to me and the Government. “We respect the legal process and the decision of Caribbean Court of Justice as well as the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. We did not believe that the no-confidence vote was valid and neither did we believe it reflected the will of Parliament or the Guyanese people. We will however accept, and abide by, the Court’s decision.”

He said it is now clear that the Guyanese people need certainty about the future and a way forward. “I want to outline a clear path. It is essential that we hold fair, free and credible elections. We cannot proceed on the current list of voters. It is outdated and corrupted. It may hold as many as 200,000 incorrect entries. What’s more, those who have reached the age of 18 years since the last election are not on it.”

All must vote
According to the President, the Constitution entitles all citizens over the age of 18 the right to vote. “It is a democratic imperative that house-to-house registration be completed swiftly so we can have an election at the earliest opportunity. The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Patterson, has previously informed me that the Commission will be ready to hold elections in November 2019. This will be after the completion of house-to-house registration. I now await a recommendation for a specific date from GECOM and I will then issue a proclamation.”

He noted that the country will be heading to the polls and there is going to be a crucial choice for our citizens. “A choice to decide the future of our country and, most importantly, the future with regard to jobs, living standards, and education for our children,” President Granger said.

He alluded to the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on Guyana in which the fund indicated that the government was on the right path in respect to management of Guyana’s oil resources. “Guyanese will be given the choice to elect a government they trust to continue on this path, to keep Guyana moving forward, to secure a better life for every family with the united APNU+AFC coalition, or risk our future by returning to the past,” the Guyanese leader said in his address.