Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd has argued that the issue of “race politics” need to be put to rest.
During his budget presentation on Thursday, the Minister said it was a serious issue that was frequently used by the coalition to create hostility and division in the society and as a “proud Black Guyanese” in Government, it was an issue he had to address.
Todd said the rumblings of race politics were not being heard by working-class people of African descent in Guyana, despite the efforts of the coalition.
“I am going to those communities and I am hearing a totally different story. They are telling me that enough is enough. They are tired of the race politics and they are tired of the misrepresentation of the working-class Blacks in this country,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) in a parliamentary report as saying.
He added that race politics has been used perpetually by the A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition to confuse the black working-class people of Guyana. However, he said the Government is confronting the issue as it should not persist in any 21st century society that wants to build a future for all.
“On this side of the House, we are going to put that to rest by ensuring each and every Guyanese citizen is fairly treated and fairly catered for in a society that is open, all-encompassing and has the value system that will allow each and every one to participate in the development process,” he said.
Additionally, he told the National Assembly that the Government presented a Budget that was dictated, crafted and directed by the people. The Minister said the way the previous Administration allocated resources over the past five years was disastrous, with policies that were politically, economically, and socially extractive.
This means, he said, that it exploited State resources while excluding the citizenry and destroying the economy. He also said the coalition lacked respect for accountability, transparency, and the rule of law.
“We on the Government side always adhere to good governance and the rule of law, accountability, and transparency. That is why we are able to stand here today presenting a Budget that is for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister said feedback from his several outreaches countrywide has been the same, that the people have not seen an APNU/AFC Minister in their village since 2015.