People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali said the Party wanted to restore a sense of hope amongst Guyanese – a hope that was lost after the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition’s failure to fulfil promises made to the people on the campaign trail.
Ali told a gathering on Saturday that the party wants to hear from the people in order to deliver a future that could be benefited from and enjoyed by everyone.
While noting that the PPP/C during its time in office, had done much to develop the country and improve the lives of Guyanese, Ali acknowledged that the Party did make mistakes and being on the outside has clearly highlighted those gaps.
“So our commitment to you tonight is filling those gaps, correcting those mistakes and building a future in which all of us can be part of…,” he stated.
According to the PPP/C Presidential Candidate, the first thing in this process is to restore the lost hope of the country’s population.
He outlined that the country needed a hope that was built on trust: trust of the people in their government and vice versa. Ali pointed out that if Guyana was a Private Sector company, or a developed state and the coalition Government was a company, it would have been sued for having made promises and creating hope that caused people to invest in a particular way when in fact, it had no interest in fulfilling those hopes and promises. He said this was what the coalition’s manifesto did.
“The manifesto of the APNU/AFC created a hope that was built on lies. A hope that was never meant to be achieved, but was meant as a marketing tool to gain votes and this is one of the regions that suffered severely as a result of those false promises,” he contended.
According to Ali, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) has been mostly affected through the rice and sugar industries. He said rice farmers, millers, thousands of sugar workers, and even communities have suffered immensely because of the coalition Government.
The PPP/C Presidential Candidate promised that should the Party be elected into office, it would ensure that there were frequent Cabinet outreaches so that the Administration would get a feel of the reality on the ground and would be better informed as to how its policies affect the population.
Another aspect in restoring hope that the Party is focusing on is inclusiveness, without which the PPP/C Presidential Candidate said there would not be any development.
Furthermore, Ali outlined that empowerment would be another focal point of his party. He said the PPP/C wanted to empower Guyanese to do better, not only for their development but that of the country as well. However, he contended that this could not be achieved, nor could the concept of creating hope be achieved when there were great gaps in society. As such, he noted that efforts would be undertaken by a PPP/C Government to empower citizens so that gaps such as that between rich and poor, male and female, coastland and hinterland residents are closed.
To this end, he stressed that there must be belief in the vision that his party has for the country. This vision, he added, has been outlined through the programmes and projects that the Party and its representatives have been talking about as well as receiving recommendations during its ongoing public consultations as part of the compilation of its manifesto.
Ali, along with the Party’s General Secretary and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, has been leading several interactive sessions with various civil society groups and sections of society to get feedback as they put together the PPP/C Manifesto.