Following is the Independence Day Message by Presidential Candidate of the PPP; Dr Irfaan Ali:
This Independence Day is more significant than many as it falls during a period of so many challenges.
As a people, we went to the polls on March 2, 2020 but are yet to have a legitimate government sworn into office. This no doubt has damaged Guyana’s credibility, especially at a time when we are at the center of attraction for most investors and the world at large.
In this our 54th year of Independence, we should have had democratic institutions that are stable, institutionalized, and protect the will, rights, and aspirations of every Guyanese. Instead after a resounding victory for the People’s Progressive Party Civic at the last polls, Guyanese collectively are in a struggle to secure the votes and democratic outcome of the last elections.
The fraud perpetuated in District Four must strengthen our resolve and recommit our efforts to democracy.
I assure you that my government would work on reforming and strengthening every democratic institution through a consultative and inclusive mechanism that would resound to a better country and a society that is truly free, democratic, and where the rights of all are respected.
At the end of this recount process we must ensure the legitimate government is sworn in and I assure you that every Guyanese would be winners in a government that seeks to create opportunities and bring development to every community. There is room for all of us at the table and enough opportunities to bring us together rather than separate us. Nothing can be gained through division, therefore the task of bringing all Guyanese together will be among my first objectives.
Bringing together, not just in speech, but by specific actions and programs designed to build trust, reduce inequalities, strengthen governance, creating a stable economy, ensuring a safe environment in which we respect each other as equals and part of one Guyanese family.
Indeed, this will require our national political leadership to provide sound guidance and more importantly lead by example. This I can assure you, I am prepared to do as we cannot allow, another one or five years of independence to find us back at this position we are in our 54th year.
The first step in the process of rebuilding is to respect the will of the people, this is an uncompromising principle that all Guyana must hold deeply.
We are at the cusp of great development which my government intends to see benefits all Guyanese. We must mobilize our best human resources here and in the diaspora to create and build the framework for the Guyana of the future, ensuring we are capable of managing our affairs; we have to build the human, institutional and infrastructural capacity.
The managing of our resources must be able to give the current generation a high-quality life whilst ensuring we safeguard our resources and build our wealth fund with appropriate and best standards and safeguards to secure future generations of Guyanese. With greater access to resources we must also be able to create global leadership in tackling various issues, including safeguarding our environment, eradicating hunger, and promoting societies that are just and democratic.
As we celebrate our 54th Independence, I would like to thank Guyana’s International partners, especially the ABC EU Block for their unwavering and uncompromising support not only to Guyana’s physical development but also in ensuring democracy, the rule of law and good governance does not escape us.
Our 54th Anniversary comes at a time when we like the rest of the world are battling against the COVID-19 pandemic. It would indeed take years for us and the global community to recover not only form the public health damage but also from the social, psychological, and economic fallout of COVID-19.
I wish to take this opportunity to remember all those families here and in the diaspora who would have lost loved ones and some who are still recovering. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.
To our doctors, nurses, and frontline workers, you have shown the true meaning of selflessness and indeed are true patriots. For this, we are eternally grateful.
COVID-19 has reinforced that we are all equal and can all be subjected to the same difficulties, however, it has also taught us how dependent we are on each other to do the right thing to overcome this challenge. It is this spirit we must take forward in looking out for each other as we build a stronger and more inclusive society.
We have already examined a series of measures to bring immediate relief to families, businesses, and workers, amidst the COVID-19 crisis. I have already outlined a clear strategy to ensure we mobilize resources in the shortest possible timeframe to operationalize these measures.
Whilst we have been busy defending our nation’s democracy and reaching out to communities all across our country, bringing relief to the most vulnerable, we have also spent the last few weeks working out strategies, policies and components of our next budget to kick start our economy and reignite confidence in Guyana as a premier investment destination.
Upon the declaration after the national recount, we will be in a position to hit the ground running, through an inclusionary approach in ensuring better days are ahead for Guyana.
In this context I can say to you, Happy Independence, continue to stay safe and God bless this great country of ours.
May 25th 2020