Irfaan Ali, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), has committed to strongly disciplining his Ministers, even having them fired, if they are found to be disrespectful to the people.
During a recent outreach to Moraikobai Village in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Ali reflected on the incident where Minister with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott, insinuated that the Indigenous peoples are greedy.
“As your President, if one of my Ministers make a statement like that they will have to hand in their resignation because no Minister, no Government has the right to disrespect people, disrespect their communities and disrespect their wishes,” Ali posited.
Minister Scott had staunchly refused to apologise for making the remark, even under fire from various officials including executives of the National Toshaos Council (NTC).
The Minister had called the Indigenous peoples “avaricious” during a 2017 sitting of the National Assembly.
“For that statement alone, this Government should be removed and for not apologising, they should be given no vote from this community in protest,” Ali expressed to rounds of applause from the community, which comprises of mainly Amerindian folks.
Meanwhile, Ali called on the people to hold his Government accountable and ensure they deliver on the promises they are currently making.
“You can hold my feet and your next Government feet to the fire. And, if we do not deliver, based on this contract we are establishing with you, then you will get to make a choice five years from March 2020 and you will let us know how you feel,” he explained, noting that “you are trusting us by voting for us to deliver on those promises and if we don’t deliver on those promises we will be breaching that trust you give to us.”
In this regard, Ali contended that the PPP/C has a track-record of always keeping its promises to the people. And he noted that in situations where they were unable to deliver, reasonable explanations were provided.
He contrasted this with the promises made by the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.
“Over the last five years, remember the promises? ‘More scholarships for the children’, has scholarships increased for the children?” Ali questioned.
“More resources to be spent on the communities, has the presidential grant been doubled? Better healthcare, has your healthcare been improved? Better access to education and transportation, has it been improved?”
“A higher standard of living, more jobs and greater opportunities. Have you seen any of this in your community? Then they have betrayed you,” Ali said, explaining that the words in a manifesto are an honour.
“And you have to upkeep and uphold that honour,” he stated.