The People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has dubbed October 5, 1992, as the 25th anniversary of the ‘Dawn of a New Era’ when democracy was restored following the historic General Elections, however, the Party says those historical gains are being eroded with the decline of democracy in Guyana under this incumbent Administration.
According to the PPP/C, the erosion began when the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition became the Government following the May 11, 2015, General and Regional Elections, and continues to “threaten freedom as a dictatorship once again rears its head”.
The PPP/C, in a statement, said anxieties are currently high on whether future elections are going to be railroaded because of the President’s intransigence on the appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
The Party, “therefore, urges all to safeguard the hard-fought freedoms that prevailed unhindered during the 23 years of the PPP/Civic Government from 1992 to 2015.
“Those 23 years of the PPP/Civic Government which October 5, 1992, precipitated, marked the most prosperous period in Guyana’s history, inundated with unprecedented social and infrastructural development positively transforming the country and vastly improving the lives of all Guyanese. Guyana became modernised; respectability was restored internationally and freedom permeated across the nation,” the PPP stated.
It noted that “despite persistent attempts to cause division among our people, national unity prevailed; despite conspiracies with criminals and fringe elements within our society, law and order won out in the end; despite violent street protests, arson, political unrest and many forms of intimidation, stability, social progress and economic prosperity returned to this land.”
The new era of freedom and prosperity that October 5, 1992, birthed was not easily achieved, the PPP said. “It was won by heroic, selfless and sustained sacrifices by our people led by the indomitable Founder and Leader of the PPP, Dr Cheddi Jagan and the Party. During those struggles, in what has been deemed the dark days of our nation, some who bravely defied the dictatorship unfortunately paid the ultimate price with their lives. The nation will forever be grateful for their heroism. Guyanese, yearning for freedom and the restoration of their dignity, overwhelmingly broke those shackles through the ballot box in 1992; the first free and fair elections in almost three decades in the nation’s history.”
The PPP said October 5 is, therefore, a historic day for Guyana and Guyanese. “It’s a day that marked the beginning of a new democratic and prosperous era. It is, therefore, of immense concern that the democracy earned through blood, tears and sweat, is being trampled upon by the APNU/AFC Government. Presently, fear prevails and many have been forced into silence as job deprivation, rampant discrimination, fabricated criminal charges and other artifices are used to suppress.
“Broadcasting laws, the SARA Act, oppressive tax legislation, revocation of leases, seizure of private properties, unlawful raids on private homes and business premises by SOCU, flagrant violations of the Constitution, attack on independent constitutional institutions like the Judiciary and the Service Commissions, neglect of the rice industry, closure of the sugar industry, the over-taxation of the mining industry, the stagnation of the forestry sector, the stifling of commerce and trade and many other aspects of our productive, services and economic sectors – all threaten the freedoms of our people and place their very survival at stake.”
The PPP reiterates that it will not allow Guyana’s democracy to be repressed and for the country to return to dark days of dictatorial rule. The Party said it will remain vigilant to protect the gains that October 5, 1992 brought and its continued significance. “We vow to continue to struggle to restore constitutional freedoms, respect for the rule of law, economic prosperity and racial unity to this land,” the PPP/C added.