The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali has called on Guyanese to embrace the sacrifices made by the late President Janet Jagan in achieving democracy in Guyana. He made the call on the occasion of the 10th death anniversary of Guyana’s first female President.
Addressing party supporters at a wreath-laying ceremony at Babu Jaan, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) where a monument has been erected in memory of the late President, Ali said Mrs Jagan made great sacrifices for the people of Guyana. He said that throughout her life, Mrs Jagan not only fought for women’s rights but the rights of all citizens.
“Comrade Janet had some distinguished qualities that are needed today as we confront the struggle of a new form of dictatorship; as we confront the struggle that can be inhibitive to our own rights and freedom in this country. And that quality was consciousness. Comrade Janet, at a very young age, was conscious of the environment and circumstances she was surrounded by and she took bold steps and bold decisions in confronting the inadequacies of that environment,” the PPP presidential candidate noted.
Ali explained that what the past President did for the development of Guyana was more difficult than can be explained simply because she was a woman. He said there is need to reflect and be inspired by what she did.
Today’s struggle, he said, is one in which parliamentary democracy is at risk.
“Our national democracy is at risk and our electoral freedom is at stake. These are fundamental aspects of a society that is free and a society that represents the interest and rights of everyone. So her life was embedded with struggles.”
Moreover, Ali referred to President Janet Jagan as a woman who put her personal freedom at risk for Guyanese.
“Her entire life was marked with struggles at various points. Even when the PPP came to Government and democracy was restored, her struggles continued and then she lost her lifelong partner then becoming President in a political environment that became very poisoned as a result of the political immaturity; as a result of the way in which the opposition then managed the political aspects of Guyana,” Ali said, adding that it is very important for all to be committed if Guyanese are desirous of changing the current circumstances.
“Then we must all recommit in our efforts to help politically to remove this bunch of dictators from Guyana.”
The late Janet Jagan was the first female President of Guyana serving from December 19, 1997, to August 11, 1999. She previously served as the first female Prime Minister of Guyana from March 17, 1997, to December 19, 1997.
She was born on October 20, 1920, and died on March 28, 2009. In 1950, she was instrumental in forming Guyana’s first political party – the (PPP) and five years later, both she and her husband were jailed for several months as political prisoners.