Former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best on Saturday endorse the opposition coalition for next month’s general and regional elections, saying that it offers the best chance of the country being governed properly.
“I wish to go on record as endorsing the APNU-AFC coalition as the best political party capable of managing the affairs of our country now and in the future,” he said in a statement to the media.
He retired in September 2013, after 33 years of military service.
Following is the full text of Rear Admiral Best’s endorsement.
I wish to go on record as endorsing the APNU-AFC coalition as the best political party capable of managing the affairs of our country now and in the future. This is indeed an A-Team. Each of these two political parties worked vigorously, though independently, to put an end to division in our country.
Their bold decision to work together is not only manifest of a deep commitment to unity politics, and unity leadership, but also the beginning of a movement for unity in everything we do as a nation. We should all join in this effort.
In this context, the expressed intentions of the APNU-AFC coalition in governing Guyana under the rubric of Transparency, Unity, Equity, Security, Youth Development and Women Empowerment accord with my own socio political and nationalistic views, as a citizen, in this country.
I have every confidence that Presidential candidate, Brigadier David Granger’ will act fairly, justly and equitably in handling the affairs of our nation. Equally too, is my confidence that Prime Ministerial candidate, Mister Moses Nagamootoo will be transparent, fair and compassionate in the day to day management of our nation’s business. I wish the APNU-AFC coalition success at the 2015 elections and urge every voter to vote APNU-AFC. It is time for Change.
Rear Admiral Best’s endorsement came amidst of a flurry of statements by the Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Secretary to the Defence Board, Dr. Roger Luncheon that he opposes ex-military personnel getting into politics. Luncheon has suggested strongly that such a move would injure civilian-military relations that have been developed since the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) came to power in 1992.
Several players in the opposition coalition include a number of ex top military officers such as presidential candidate, Retired Brigadier David Granger; Retired Lt. Col. Joseph Harmon and Retired Brigadier Eddie Collins.
For its part, the PPPC-led administration had appointed former GDF Lieutenant Ronald Gajraj as a Home Affairs Minister until he resigned amid intense pressure from Western Nations at a time when he had been fingered in an alleged state-sponsored death squad that had hunted heavily armed criminal gangs. An inquiry with tightly crafted terms of reference had cleared him of any involvement.
Though not serving as politicians, the PPPC-led administration has also hired former Chiefs-of-Staff Michael Atherly and Joseph Singh as well as former Police Commissioners Laurie Lewis and Floyd Mc Donald.