Aug 09, 2020 News Comments Off on Ali commits to being a President for all during historical inauguration
Despite the scorching sun, which was regrettably followed by heavy downpour of rain, along with social COVID-19 restrictions, hundreds still managed to assemble at the National Cultural Centre (NCC), yesterday, for the historical inauguration of Guyana’s ninth executive president, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
Attendees included ministers and officials from the recently sworn in People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) administration, members from the Diplomatic Corps, the regional and international community, Guyana’s Joint Services, supporters and members of the media.
With preparations beginning for the ceremony since Thursday last, every item on the agenda was executed without incidents, with almost perfect performances.
The highly-anticipated day began with members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) seen marching and mounted on horses at the NCC. Along with the GPF were the members of the Joint Services.
When President Ali and Prime Minister Mark Phillips arrived at the venue, they were accorded a 21-gun salute—a customary practice performed by the firing of cannons or artillery as a military honour for heads of states.
Although the ceremony did not have a packed itinerary, the events on the agenda were exquisitely performed. Some of the performances included cultural dances, telling stories of Guyana’s rich and diverse culture, an idyllic recital of a poem by a Queen’s College student, Nikhil Sankar.
The cream at the top was a powerful and inspirational performance by Jackie Jaxx and Jeremy Sobers in the hit song, Guyana.
There were tears and she became a social sensation.
President Ali addresses the nation
Without hesitation, during his presentation President Ali first sought to thank all of those who cemented their efforts in fighting for democracy in Guyana—in what were protracted elections and threats to the rule of law.
He shared his appreciation and unwavering support to the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Carter Centre, the Organization of the American States (OAS), the Commonwealth Group of Nations and the international community for fearlessly defending the nation over the last five months.
Special homage was paid to former Barbadian Prime Minister (PM), and head of the Commonwealth election observer mission, who recently passed away.
Owen Arthur, according to the President, was a man who fought for democracy in Guyana and for people not to be deprived of their political rights.
“He was a true friend of Guyana,” President said… “a man committed to justice and the rights of the people. I honour him today.”
With the sacrifices made by all who fought for Guyana’s democracy, the new head of state committed to “be the President for all the people of Guyana,” who “will serve each of you with affection, without discrimination and with every attention to fairness and equity.”
“From this day forward, our one nation and our people must join together to peacefully transition our country to a pathway of economic and social development at home, and respect and regard abroad. From this day forward, we must – each of us – become our brother’s and sister’s keeper, ensuring that in our journey to progress and prosperity, no one is left behind.”
It is in this context that President Ali committed to fulfilling the pledges in his party’s manifesto on which they contested the March 2, General and Regional Elections.
New COVID-19 response unit to be established
Ali announced that his PPP/C government will be dismantling the National COVID-19 Task Force, that was established by the Coalition and heavily criticised for being filled with political appointees.
He said that the country’s response to the pandemic will now be guided by a collaborative policy to address medical responses and to create a COVID-19 impact socio-economic plan. This new COVID Response Unit will include Government policymakers, represented by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, and our regional and international partners such as CARICOM, PAHO, and UNDP.
According to Ali, the immediate tasks of the new response COVID-19 task force will be crafting a socio-economic plan to address the response to the pandemic’s effects on citizens.
The unit will be guided by a collaborative policy to address medical responses and to create a COVID-19 impact socio-economic plan for our people.
Further, he noted that some $4.5B is being secured to help households during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Ali had stated that his government has already met with the Governor of the Central Bank and directed him to extend regulatory permission to allow bankers to continue extending moratoriums.
“We have also looked at the possibility of adjusting the Reserve Requirement, which will allow the banks to have more disposable resources and tying that adjustment with lower interest rates,” the President stated.
Acknowledging the effect the pandemic has had on the workforce, the Head of State noted that his government will be determining what support they can lend to the private sector from a fiscal perspective.
New Single-Window Clearance System reduce red tape, cost of doing business
The President highlighted that a Single-Window Clearance System will now be created to reduce bureaucracy and the cost of doing business.
President Ali said the new system will make it easier for local and foreign investors to start-up and establish businesses in Guyana – an economy which has been forecasted by the World Bank to grow by 52.8% this year – surpassing all 26 Latin American and Caribbean states.
Govt. seeks intellectual authors behind elections fiasco
Most notably, Ali yesterday made a strong commitment to review the events of Guyana’s five month-long 2020 elections. It is vowing to hold those accountable who sought to “pervert and corrupt” the system.
Addressing his inauguration ceremony yesterday, President Ali made it clear that the painful events of the last five months are etched into the minds of Guyanese all across the world, “as vigorous attempts were made to destroy our democratic credentials, and deny the will of the electorate.”
“Therefore, a review of events – related to the electoral process over the last five months – will begin shortly in order to determine, forensically, exactly what transpired, and to hold accountable any persons who sought to pervert and corrupt the system.”
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