Message of Brigadier David Granger, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, for New Year, 2014
Guyana’s ‘Year for Workers’ must dawn on 1st January 2014. This country’s economic future lies in their hands. Many of our working people, however, are underemployed and unhappy and are not as productive as they could be. Workers face unsatisfactory labour relations in the sugar and mining industries and in the public and private sectors. Artisanal fisherfolk, craftsmen, small farmers and miners found themselves in difficult circumstances during 2013. Life must be better for all in 2014.
Guyana’s ‘Year for Workers’ must be one in which our working people should be able to look forward to a good life. It should be one in which they could look forward to living in safety, to working for ‘living wages’ to cope with the cost of living and to enjoying adequate social protection in their old age.
Guyana’s ‘Year for Workers’ must be one in which workers can feel free to join trade unions of their choice; in which collective bargaining agreements between their employers and their unions will be respected and in which the state will enforce labour laws fairly but firmly to protect them from adversity and from delinquent employers.
Let us, therefore, make the new year – 2014 – Guyana’s ‘Year for Workers’ as we all work together towards providing “a good life for all Guyanese.” My best wishes for a happy new year to everyone!
New Year message by Clement Rohee, General Secretary – People’s Progressive Party
It is with a profound sense of joy and optimism; I extend on behalf of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), New Years greetings to all Guyanese on the dawn of the 2014.
It is the PPP’s hope that the new year brings serenity and the spirit of goodwill as the party continues to charter a path towards racial and working-class unity, growth and development, in keeping with our vision, when the PPP was formed 63 years ago.
A new year always brings with it a renewed sense of optimism and hope for a brighter future. The PPP shares this feeling of optimism which is grounded on the measurable progress the country has made over the past two decades under the visionary leadership of successive PPPC administrations.
Our party in the New Year will continue to remain a critical partner in the development of Guyana and its people.
In this New Year, the PPP remains committed to working towards activating the difficulty overcoming the challenges our people face on a daily basis.
The PPP will continue to address all matters affecting the welfare of our members and supporters and more so all Guyanese.
The PPP and the PPPC government has always, and will continue to remain faithful to the vision of its founding leaders to create a society in which there is racial and working class unity, participatory democracy and inclusive governance.
The PPP is of the view that critical to the realization of the above objectives is the need to build trust at the political level and create political space for all. Confrontation and threats must give way to dialogue and the good of the country should remain paramount in all our political engagements and discourse.
It is clear from the standpoint of the PPP that there is a strong political will to find common ground. The PPPC administrations have always recognized the importance of multi-party democracy and have always sought to ensure that opposition parties are not treated with disdain.
There has never been harassment of opposition politicians as happened in the past. The attainment of political power by democratic means will be recognized as a legitimate objective which is the right of every political party.
The search for a political solution that meets the expectations of the Guyanese people must continue. In this regard, the PPP extends a hand of friendship to all those who subscribe to the aspirations of a free and democratic society within the broad framework of a National Democratic State based on the principles of national sovereignty, a tri-sectoral economy, good governance, rule of law and a working class orientation.
This will be a state of all Guyanese where the interest of all classes and strata of society will not only be protected but advanced to higher levels.
In keeping with the Party’s Programme which calls for the establishment of a National Democratic State that represents the interests of all classes, groups and social strata as part of an inclusive state, a decision was taken by the Party to work towards the creation of a broad left, progressive and democratic Nationalist Front comprising of representatives of all sections of the working people, farmers, intellectuals, professionals, the business community, NGOs and all Guyanese who share a common vision of the National Democratic Choice.
Comrades there can be no doubt that the political, social and economic landscape has been transformed under the PPPC administration. Guyana today is a proud and respected member of the international community.
As stated in the Party’s Political Declaration which emanated from its last Congress, the PPP recognizes, and is proud that as a nation under successive PPPC Governments, we have established a formidable record of improving the lives of thousands of people, in particular our children.
To name only a few-providing the opportunity for the first time for thousands of ordinary men and women to own their own homes; for the first time thousands of Amerindian children are receiving secondary school education; providing thousands of laptops to low income households in one of the most innovative projects executed by a government in the world to reduce the digital divide and enhance equitable access to new technology.
But challenges remain. It behooves us all, more so as representatives of the people, to put the national interest ahead of narrow partisan interests. Differences will be there, but in the words of President Donald Ramotar “the important thing is how we move forward in resolving our positions. To move forward will call for maturity if we are to avoid gridlock and inertia; political cooperation in the interest of the development of Guyana must exist.”
In 2014, let us all resolve on this joyous occasion to build a strong, prosperous and United Guyana for all.
Once again, best wishes for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous 2014 to everyone!
Prosperity in the New Year – A wish for all Guyana from the Alliance For Change
As the New Year approaches the Alliance For Change gives thanks for all the blessings and support we have received from the people of Guyana and will continue to work towards creating a more prosperous Guyana – one that all her citizens would be proud to call home.
This past year has been a challenging one for most Guyanese with alarmingly high levels of domestic violence, affecting mainly our women and the high incidence of road fatalities, which have taken many valuable lives, including our youngest and brightest minds.
In 2013 the AFC waged a fight against corruption and advocated the need for good governance. We focused on demanding accountability and transparency in the day to day running of our dear country Guyana. In this area our shouts have been loud and resounding resulting in the many revelations of corruption in the management of our national assets by our Government that seemed to plague the entire year yet again.
This fight was vindicated with the pronouncements we heard from Transparency International, in US State Department reports, from our diplomatic missions and our own Auditor General as we continue to strive to establish a true democracy.
Our stance in Parliament has been based on these principles as we sought to bring the Government to account to Parliament as should be. To this end we have taken up issues that dealt with this – including the need for the establishment of a Public Procurement Commission, and amendments to the Fiscal Management and Accountable Act to ensure financial accountability of the Judiciary and Parliament.
We have taken strong positions on the need for state funds held by NICIL to be deposited and accounted for in our consolidate fund, and that both the Integrity and the Ethnic Relations Commissions should be fully operationalized.
The Alliance For Change has also advocated that the position of Chancellor and Chief Justice be filled and most importantly have been consistent over the years with calls for the holding of Local Government Elections which we know will open up a new vista for peoples participation. These are the hallmarks of what the AFC has done to enhance our democracy in 2013.
In 2014, our still incomplete agenda will continue as we fervently hope that Local government Elections will be held. We will continue the fight for a living wage, and that monies voted for increases in wages will be specifically quantified in the next budget.
It is our hope that greater respect for collective bargaining and consultation with the Unions on the welfare of their members and without government making arbitrary awards will take place.
We will continue to advance the issues you have asked us to raise on your behalf – a reduction in the economic pressures placed on your pockets, garbage free communities for your children to grow up in, jobs for our young people and a livable wage for all.
In 2014 we will lobby hard to ensure that the state media will be opened up to give us and other organizations access to this “national” resources as happens in most democracies across the globe and that coverage of parliamentary proceedings will be carried live better informing the people of Guyana and eliminating the cloak and dagger approach.
We in the Alliance for Change know that more can be achieved when we accept that every Guyanese has a valuable contribution to make. We recommit to ensuring that the spirit of working together amongst our major political parties is put back firmly on the national agenda recognizing that constructive dialogue is the only way to ensure we move this country of ours forward, for the benefit of all.
In closing we salute our gallant fighters in all ten regions of Guyana and in the diaspora who have kept the Alliance For Change going under difficult circumstance and note the passing of several of our members and close friends who have all contributed to making the AFC a national institution for change.
May your new year be filled with peace, good health and prosperity. Happy New Year to all Guyana.