Last Updated on Monday, 8 May 2023, 15:50 by Denis Chabrol
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Aubrey Norton on Sunday night called on vendors and the business community to vote for his coalition in the June 12, 2o23 or they risk being marginalised if the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) clinches power in the City.
“I want to warn the vendors. They are out of power in Georgetown and everyday they moving vendors. Imagine them with power. You are obligated to vote for the APNU so that you can continue to vend so to don’t vote for us is to give the PPP the opportunity to take away your livelihood,” he told the launch of the Georgetown campaign for the 30-seat City Council.
Recently, Town Clerk Candace Nelson told Demerara Waves Online News that vendors’ stalls made of wooden pallets had been removed from over drains in section of the commercial heart of Georgetown to allow sanitation workers to clean those waterways. Ms Nelson had said that vendors would not be barred from vending but they have to remove their stalls after selling everyday. In October, 2020 Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn and Public Works Minister Juan Edghill had said that vendors in the Stabroek Market area would be repositioned.
Central governments under the PPP and APNU+Alliance For Change have removed vendors from their customary spots where sales were lucrative and placed in other areas between 2011 and 2017.
Mr Norton also appealed to the business community to vote against the PPP in Georgetown or they risked paying increased rates and taxes were that party to take control of the City Council. “I want the businessmen to understand that Jagdeo doesn’t stop when he gets power and you all know; you all does engage he. If you say anything about he, he crucifies you. Well, you all imagine if he gets Georgetown and he could use rates and taxes against you, you dead and so there is every reason why the private sector in Georgetown should do everything to ensure that the dictator Bharrat Jagdeo doesn’t control Georgetown,” Mr Norton told an estimated 250 persons at Roxanne Burnham Gardens well site area. It is unclear whether the turnout had anything to do with the inclement weather.
He acknowledged that the PPP “doesn’t play when they have power”, as he called on vendors, the business community and residents to vote for APNU to ensure there would be a “counterbalance to their arrogance, their ignorance and their vindictiveness.”
On a similar note, PNCR Executive member Christopher Jones contended that the PPP-led central government was engaged in a sinister plot to facilitate the taking away of properties from owners in depressed communities such as Punt Trench Dam/Independence Boulevard. He said when that area is developed the property values would be increased. “When a big fancy road and stet lights are going through the area, you know who coming behind it? – The developers and all those houses that we own through those areas; those very people will come and offer you next-to-nothing…when you pass back four five months after, you see a massive eight-story apartment building going up and then you realise you were squeezed out of your community,” he said.
APNU, meanwhile, hopes that the High Court can grant an order for the Guyana Elections Commission to fix a number of constituency boundaries rather than adopt those that had been ordered by Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall. APNU believes that the boundaries are not to its political advantage.
APNU is confident of winning Georgetown, Linden, Bartica, New Amsterdam and Mahdia which are all its traditional strongholds.
The traditionally Indo-Guyanese backed PPP has been branding itself as a party that has been increasingly attracting Afro-Guyanese support by showing off numerous Afro-Guyanese nominees and supporters on nomination day. However, APNU has been accusing the PPP of paying for persons to wear campaign jerseys.