May 17, 2015 News
(Part one of an exclusive interview with a KN reporter hours before he was sworn in)
By Kiana Wilburg
The music of his favourite German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, was playing softly in the living room as he helped his wife, Sandra, prepare an early morning meal.
The First Lady had her hair pulled back in a very loose bun, and wore a long, multicolored, tie-dye dress.
In the home, Sandra, it seems, is the leader and the proficient organizer. Even at that time, there was no fancy activity being planned. It was a regular day at home, the two enjoying each other’s company.
Though he is now Guyana’s 8th Executive President, David Arthur Granger still gets into a few confrontational situations with his wife, even if it is over cooking condiments.
Of course, Sandra wins the argument and her spouse willingly concedes.
The home in which he lives in at D’Urban Backlands was filled with art and craft which he loves, and pictures of his family life. There are photographs of him in his younger days.
President Granger sat down for almost two hours talking about himself and his plans for Guyana. This was just a few hours before he was sworn in as Executive President at Parliament Building.
He was barefooted and was wearing a green shirt and khaki pants.
Kaieteur News (KN): Sir, are you a lover of classical music? Is this what you normally listen to?
President David A. Granger (P. DG): (Chuckles) Well, he is one of my favourite composers. I do enjoy this kind of music and it is usually played in the morning. It sets a calm tone in the home.
KN: We are mere hours away from a very significant moment in your life.
What does this historic step mean to you?
P. DG: You know, I have come through a process from since 2010. I first competed for the Presidential candidacy for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) which was done in 2011 and then I was appointed Presidential candidate for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) when it was established in July, 2011. Then I became leader of the opposition in January 2012 after the elections in 2011. Later I moved on to be the Presidential Candidate of the APNU+AFC.
I have come a far way and I am proud of where we have come. I was happy that we were able to secure a majority in parliament and now after the 2015 elections we got that again (chuckles.) It is the most important moment in my life.
I have a strong desire to reduce poverty. I want to see my country improve. I am tired of disunity. I have struggled for this time, this moment, where we have a coalition government and this is good for Guyana.
KN: Is this a personal triumph for you?
P.DG: It is the most important moment for me and it is an honour to become Guyana’s 8th Executive President. But, hmm. I don’t see it as a personal triumph, rather as an achievement for the nation.
I am happy it is happening in May, too, because it is the month of Independence and it is symbolic for me. I was in the army in 1966. Trust me, this moment here for me is very dear to my heart. It is a satisfying feeling.
KN: Mr. President, I know the reaction of the people during your campaign, must have been overwhelming for you. Were you moved to tears at any point?
P.DG: (EXHALES) It has been an overpowering feeling. I have been all over this country and the love is just tremendous but no, I didn’t cry. I don’t cry (chuckles). But I was moved, not only by their sincerity, but for the desire for change.
KN: What are you most eager to do as President?
P.DG: In the short term? Make the country safer. Reform the education system and provide greater employment, make Guyana a very rich country and of course, hold Local Government Elections this year, provided GECOM can handle it.
KN: Were you disappointed in Donald Ramotar’s reaction to the election results?
P.DG: Indeed, I was disappointed. I felt the elections had satisfied the international standards and there was no need to demand a total recount because the system we have ensures an accurate account of the polls at the stations.
I am not saying it is foolproof, but a demand for a recount of all the votes seems to be a demand for delay, rather than trying to find out the truth. Because of the system, we knew the results by Tuesday morning… so it’s sad he acted that way.
KN: Will we see changes to the electoral system?
P.DG : Oh yes! Our process is way, way too slow. The slothfulness makes it way too vulnerable to manipulation, so under my stewardship it will be reformed. There is no reason why we shouldn’t have a process that gives us results in 12 hours. It’s 400, 000 people. You don’t need five days to get the results.
Come on, man, we can do this count in one day in prep form.
KN: What will become of the individuals like Winston Brassington, Former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh and the others whom your party had accused on several occasions of showing blatant disrespect for the country’s financial laws?
(See the answer to this question and more in tomorrow’s edition)
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