By Abena Rockcliffe
Perhaps the biblical teaching “to whom much is given, much is expected” best explains the predicament in which the new government has found itself. This has become the case as citizens look forward to a speedy recovery for Guyana with hope for a better life.
During a recent interview at the Ministry of Presidency, newly elected President, David Granger, said that he is very much aware of the high hopes that the Guyanese people have for his administration but asked that they remain cognizant of the fact that there is a lot that needs to be done.
The media highlighted the fact that President Granger entered administrative office in what has been seen as the massive wave for change and asked him whether he feels pressured to live up to the enormous expectations of Guyanese.
In response, the Head-of-State said, “We are obviously under pressure because there is an ocean of expectation in the country. But I am confident that the people are aware that after 23 years of rule by the PPP/C (People Progressive Party/Civic) there has been some damage to our institutions.”
Granger said that it will take some time to repair the damage caused by the PPP/C. “There is pressure, there is pressure of expectation but there is also a need to ensure that things are done in a way that would ensure that people in the end get a good life.”
The Head of-State said that he is confident that his administration is moving in the right direction and added that he is encouraged by the support of the majority of the Guyanese people as well as the hemispheric leaders. “I am also confident that the (15-member) Cabinet team is in a position to give Guyana the quality life it needs and deserves.”
Indeed, the Granger government has set the bar high for itself as many who have been appointed government ministers have been critical of the previous administration. They made many ambitious promises for betterment.
Also, the coalition manifesto, released about a week before elections, chronicled a plethora of measures that will be taken to improve the system of governance in Guyana, reduce poverty and secure a better life for all.
The alliance pledged that those promises would be kept in its first 100 days in office. These promises include the reduction of the Berbice River Bridge toll. Government workers have been promised salary increases and Guyanese have also been promised that the Value Added Tax (VAT) would be reduced and removed from food and other essential items.
The coalition also said that it would increase old age pensions. It pledged to ensure the presidential pension package is reduced.
Guyanese would be looking forward to the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.
A Code of Conduct for Ministers was also promised. This has already been drafted but Ministers are yet to sign on to it.
The coalition also vowed to form a task force on crime and security as well as develop a plan for sustainable economic development.
A constitutional reform committee which will complete consultations, draft amendments and present it to the National Assembly for approval within nine months was also promised to be established during this pivotal period.
APNU+AFC promised to also liberalize the telecommunication and ICT sectors, announce a date for the holding of long overdue local government elections and develop and implement a sustained national crime prevention plan.
It also promised to enact the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.
Already, it seems as if the new government is moving towards fulfilling a significant number of these promises.
There is a massive clean-up campaign that has swept the country and has attracted the support of society, including the business community. The government has also restored and enhanced the Independence Arch located at Brickdam, Georgetown.
Granger’s government replaces a regime which had 23 consecutive years of executive power. The only two persons in his Cabinet with ministerial experience are the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.
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