Aug 27, 2016 News
By Kiana Wilburg
Standing strong as the unshakable wall against cronyism, corruption, criminality and misgovernment which dragged the nation to the edge of catastrophe and into the pit of human underdevelopment is the APNU+AFC coalition.
This was the notion expressed yesterday by Leader of the PNCR and President of Guyana, David Granger during his keynote address at the PNCR’s 19th Biennial Delegates Congress.
Granger said that the record rates of armed robbery, arson, execution-murders, road fatalities, suicides, illiteracy, unemployment, trafficking in persons and trafficking in narcotics made the country a pariah state in this hemisphere.
He emphasized that the APNU+AFC Coalition is the boldest step in six decades to replace political confrontation with cooperation.
With this in mind, Granger sought to remind of his promise to the nation when he became the APNU+AFC presidential candidate.
He said that a commitment was made towards developing an education system that will produce citizens of quality, who will be happy to remain at home and to build a great and beautiful country.
The President said that a manifesto promise was also made to ensure employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mining, agro-processing and the arts. He also reminded of the need to have an empowerment policy that regularly renews local democracy by ensuring that local government elections are held as is stipulated in the Constitution.
The President also stated that there is a need to develop an energy policy that utilizes the nation’s biomass, wind, water and solar resources so as to provide cheap, renewable electricity.
With that in mind, Granger told his audience that the PNCR renews its commitment to all Guyanese but most especially the nation’s women, youth, children and senior citizens.
He promised that the Government will work towards ensuring that “we all have a good life.”
The President said, “The ‘good life’ is not a dream. It is a plan. It will improve our lives over the coming years. The ‘good life’ is predicated on happiness. It is about making people happy. People will be happy when they know that they have a government which cares for them…”
He continued, “The PNCR, as part of the Coalition, will continue to work to close the education gap between the one percent who are super-performers and the more than 50 percent, who do poorly at these examinations.”
The PNCR Leader added, “We will work to close the income inequality gap between the hinterland and the coastland and between urban and rural areas. We will do so by boosting economic development in the hinterland and in rural Guyana; by closing the infrastructure gap, which keeps the hinterland isolated and underdeveloped.”
The President said that the aforementioned is the main reason why the Coalition administration ensured that local government elections were held in less than a year after it entered office.
He said that it is also the reason why the Coalition Government created three ‘capital towns’ in the hinterland at Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma, and embarked on a programme of establishing regional radio stations. Granger remarked that these ‘capital towns’ will spur the development of the hinterland.
“Our vision is for every Guyanese to be able to enjoy ‘a good life.’ ‘A good life’ is based on the acceptance that people’s existence is characterized by three key freedoms – freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity.”
The President asserted that achieving ‘a good life’ requires greater equality of opportunity in order to attain economic growth. He emphasized that a ‘good life’ is about removing inequalities and providing opportunities for every citizen to be the best, he or she can be.
On this topic, Granger stated that Guyana, today, still needs to eliminate the sort of social erosion that degenerated into civil violence in the recent past.
“We still see how easily the ranting of a few persons can rekindle racial animosity, a retrograde step, which has no place in modern society.”
When he made this comment, immediately, persons within the audience shouted that the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo should pay attention to the President’s words.
Continuing in this vein, the PNCR Leader said that the Party is alarmed at the vocal efforts by those persons to promote social division.
“We warn that such inflammatory tirades run the risk of degenerating into social instability, of fostering distrust and of fomenting disorder,” the President stated firmly.
He added, “We need to exhibit the spirit of social cohesion. Social cohesion is about combating exclusion and marginalization, creating a sense of belonging and promoting upward mobility…”
Granger said that Guyana ¯ a micro-state of three-quarters of a million people, with land-space larger than England and with bountiful natural resources and beautiful people ¯ need not be divided.
He said that discord, arising out of ethnic, economic, political, religious and other differences, has the potential to spawn hatred.
“Our society has been scarred by violence, which left a lingering legacy of distrust with the threat of disorder. Monuments have been erected to the victims of violence during the ‘Troubles’ between 2002 and 2008. Memories have not been erased,” the PNCR Leader expressed.
Granger then called on his coalition parties and civil society to work together to repair that damage, restore trust and rebuild the bases of a ‘moral community’ which enables all to trust each other.
He stressed that the nation’s diversity is an asset, not a liability.
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