President David Granger on Friday said categorically that he has no intention of rigging elections, even as he explained his commitment to his People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) late founder-leader, Forbes Burnham.
“I have never rigged an election in my life. I have no intention of ever doing so,” said Granger who has been a PNCR member for more than 40 years.
Adding that “I am not aware that rigged elections was an ideal of Forbes Burnham”, the President said he admires the late President Burnham for the ideas that he “implanted” in the PNCR, his commitment to education such as the construction of multilateral schools in Anna Regina, New Amsterdam and North Ruimveldt.
Granger also highlighted the improvement of infrastructure such as the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Canje Bridge, Cheddi Jagan International Airport and housing. “I think he has made a contribution and I have no compunction that those are ideals which have served the nation well,” he said, adding that Guyana made tremendous strides from 1964 to 1974.
“As far as rigging of elections, I don’t see how that is applicable to anything I have said or intend to do,” said Granger who is also PNCR Leader.
During his address early last month to the 5th Biennial Conference of the PNCR’s North American Region held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, the President said.
“Whatever you will choose to discuss today and the weeks and months to come, I think there are several questions that you have to ask yourself as you look to the future. You have to ask yourself how did the PNC gain office in 1964. Ask yourself how did the PNC remain in office and what did it do during that period Ask yourself how the PNC regained office in 2015 and ask yourself how would the PNC retain office after 2020.
These are big questions. These are big questions. It’s not guess work. This is spade work. This calls for the work of all our members and our regions,” he said in an address to the 5th Biennial Conference of the PNCR’s North American Region (NAR) in Atlanta, Georgia.
The PNC secured power in 1964 through a coalition with The United Force (TUF) before that political arrangement and collapsed and since then critics have long accused the PNC of retaining power through rigged elections until 1992. During the 1997 general elections, then PPP Presidential candidate, Janet Jagan had warned party faithful in the Corentyne against splitting the vote
The President last month also pledged to promote his party Founder Leader’s ideas that are relevant to what Guyana had became. “I intend to protect and preserve and promote those ideals which I believe are still valid,” he said to applause.