“Your nation will hold national elections this year. I am confident that it will serve as an example of the peaceful exercise of the right to vote. Your actions will strengthen the entire region’s commitment to democratic institutions,” said American Secretary of State, John Kerry on behalf of US President Barack Obama.
The upcoming polls are expected to be one of the most hotly contested in decades with two parties in the race for the presidency and control of the 65-seat National Assembly.
Both the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) and the opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) are optimistic about victory.
For its part, the AFC in its Republic Day message pledged to help create a peaceful period for general and regional elections. “Towards that final drive, the AFC commits to a campaign that is free from racial intolerance and verbal abuse and the forging of a new Guyana where all will be respected for who they are and what they stand for, so that all of us will benefit from this beauty and bounty,” said that party in a statement.
The governing PPP encouraged all eligible Guyanese to vote and give true meaning and substance to Guyana’s sense of nationhood and sovereignty. “The PPP has full confidence in the ability of the Guyanese people to make the right choices as they go to the polls on May 11 and overwhelmingly re-elect President Donald Ramotar and the PPP/C administration to the seat of government,” the party said in a statement.
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the largest party in APNU- called on youths to vote in the upcoming polls to help end decades of criminality, violence, corruption and intolerance of views other than those by the PPPC-led administration. “This is an election year and we urge all Guyanese, especially the youth of this nation to vote on Election Day May 11th 2015,” said the PNCR.
The US Secretary of State said the US and Guyana would continue to work together to achieve energy and environmental sustainability as agreed upon during the recent Caribbean Energy Summit.
The Guyana-Suriname basin offshore the two neighbouring South American countries is said to contain at least 15 billion barrels of largely untapped oil.