Oct 30, 2019 News
Robert Badal, owner of the Pegasus Hotel and Guyana Stockfeeds Incorporated, has teamed up with Nigel Hinds to launch a new political party ‘Change Guyana’ to contest the March 02, 2020 national elections.
Hinds is the owner of Nigel Hinds and Associates Financial Services.
Badal is the Presidential Candidate of the party launched at the Pegasus Hotel, Savannah Suite yesterday evening in front of a gathering of just over 100 persons.
The two businessmen were the only two members of the new political party –the fifth to be launched this year –to make presentations at the event.
However, Badal referred to Change Guyana as a group of concerned Guyanese seeking to address the multitude and ever increasing social and economic difficulties faced by Guyanese.
Badal was approached to name the other members of the party and answer other questions but noted that he will not be taking any questions until his first press conference, next Tuesday.
He outlined a list of promises which include a reduction in taxes, increase in local content in the petroleum and other industries and eradication of poverty.
The party plans “an aggressive programme of poverty alleviation by creating jobs and giving Guyanese a greater share of their income,” he said.
Badal also pointed to plans to create a State owned Housing Development Corporation to undertake Housing Development for those who cannot hope to buy a home at current market prices, create an energy-based Industrialization Policy for downstream value added petroleum products providing high skilled, high paying jobs; renegotiate the Production Sharing Agreement with ExxonMobil to allow for more benefits for citizens, provide scholarships to the top 20 students every year to pursue areas of study relevant to Guyana’s development needs, ensure that Guyanese businesses receive their fair share of business from the oil sector, tackle corruption and provide better health care among others.
He also promised Constitutional Reform to ensure a more inclusive and participatory democracy along with more reliable and affordable electricity.
Badal was the Chairman of the Guyana Power and Light Company for two years.
Badal was an ardent supporter and also financed the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition in the run up to the 2015 General and Region elections which he said was based on his view that the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s interest conflicted with that of the electorate.
Four years on, he believes the Coalition too has failed the electorate.
“Today, after more than 50 years of independence, many people across our Country have the same difficulties supporting a household… They have failed us before and they will continue to fail us if we continue to make the same choices our parents have made since independence. The simple reason is that they have displayed no vision for the economic upliftment of our country, no track record of wealth or job creation or business development,” he said.
Boasting of having created many jobs through his businesses, Badal said politicians have and will never be able to create jobs without investments.
“Jobs do not grow on trees or pulled from above,” he told those gathered at the ceremony.
“Such job creation and poverty reduction would not be realized with the current political culture. Since independence the rules of the game had been set by two political groups, each mirror the other like two sides of the same coin. They are both ethnically dominated, controlled by a few, make rules that benefit themselves and their friends, the wider members of their group are mere cheerleaders, the rest of us have to struggle to make ends meet,” the businessman emphasized.
Badal referred to the country’s constant brain drain, high taxes, lack of visionary leadership and other downfalls of previous administration as he pointed to plans to develop the country.
“We will take it beyond just a promise and take it to a project that is executed” –Nigel Hinds said in his address.
“I now seek your support to serve all Guyanese. I know there is doubt about the party’s ability but I ask you to join the change Guyana movement,” the Prime Ministerial Candidate added.
Among its plans to increase citizens’ income, Hinds said Change Guyana will exempt Teachers and Nurses from paying taxes.
“It is time for change, time to embrace economic development,” Hinds said as he urged persons to sign up online to become members of the party.
‘Change Guyana’ is represented by a lighted bulb. Each light ray represents a different objective which are as follows: Jobs for all, security, energy, tax reform, education, governance, investment, technology, infrastructure, healthcare and local content.
“Inside the bulb, there are three green human figures which the party comrades said represent the people of Guyana who will be “switched on” through free education, incentives and other benefits.
“Below the bar are three bars representing private sector, civil society and the Government.”
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