by Zena Henry
Launching what they called “the People’s manifesto” in modest style at the South Georgetown bus park at the Stabroek Market, this afternoon Thursday April 30, the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has finally made public their official plans for the country should they get into power after the May 11 Elections.
Surrounded by a small gathering of ordinary citizens, invited organisations and party officials, the Coalition announced that their plans seek to wage war on six important areas of ailment in Guyana; points to a 100 -day implementation plan and a strategy for the next five years.
Presidential candidate David Granger opined that the party chose to launch its manifesto not at a grand Marriot or a glitzy affair, but among the people because it is, “the People’s manifesto”. He said that the country has six peoples and the Coalition is made up of six parties; same way the manifesto wages war on six areas of deep concern in the country.
“This manifesto is about the war against crime, the war against corruption, against cronyism, poverty, disunity and a war against dictatorship.”
To the issue of poverty, Granger said there are too many poor people in the country, “and is not because Guyana is a poor country, but because the PPP is ‘thiefing’ too much.
“One of the biggest problems preventing us from developing in the last 60 years was the fact that we were disunited.” However the coming together of parties shows that the Coalition is ready to put disunity behind us, he said, before reminding that while all the political parties in the country seeks national unity the PPP is the only one only to the winning takes all notion.
The third war against crime will not be won if the current Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee remains. Granger said a resolution was passed against him in Parliament since July 2012 but because he is still here, “we still have piracy, banditry, wide spread murders, traffic fatalities, gun running and narco- trafficking.”
He told the gathering that President Donald Ramotar has not convened Parliament for nine months and this form of dictatorship is what the country does not need. He said the country gave the opposition the majority, but “the PPP/C refuse to accept the will of the people.”
The Presidential candidate urged that the war against cronyism will not allow the President of the country to allow his son to run a fibre optic cable without the proper vetting. There will be proper procurement and award systems to remove such cronyism, the Leader said.
Granger related that overseas Guyanese want to come home, but they as well as those at home complain about corruption. He said to conduct any business or transaction people say they have to bribe someone, or pay a minister, “people are fed up! People just want a level playing field and to be treated fairly.”
Prime Ministerial candidate Moses Nagamootoo said that the new government has for Guyana, “the restoration of open and accountable governance.” The manifesto’s policies and programs will bring about an open society to have as a matter of priority, matters such as the holding of Local Government Elections; not held in the last 17 years.
Nagamootoo said that within the first 100 days, the Coalition intends to bring constitutional reform, the establishment of the Procurement commission and make good on other such promises.
Nagamootoo assured that their manifesto aims to end discrimination marginalization, exploitation of the people and instead bring them together as a people with a common goal to take the country forward. Problems of corruption, crime, low wages and demoralization of persons and joblessness will also be attacked. The Prime Ministerial candidate said the Coalition has a manifesto that has everything for everyone.
In the meantime, the manifesto which was presented to selected persons and is also available online indicates that within the first 100 days, the Coalition promises increases in salaries for public workers, including a Commission to revise the pay of servicemen and women.
Old age pensioners, the Sugar industry are also slated for immediate attention while a Commission on corruption will address this major problem.
A Code of Conduct for Ministers, a task force on crime and security and a promise of a sustainable economic development plan are all to be handled within that pivotal period.