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GUYANA: Incumbent President looks set to run again in upcoming election

President Donald Ramotar.

President Donald Ramotar on Thursday-New Year’s Day- stopped short of directly confirming that he would be running again for the country’s highest office in general elections widely expected during this year.

In his Address to the Nation, he often referred to “my government” executing a number of plans and programmes after it would have sought a fresh mandate from the electorate.

This is the Guyanese leader’s clearest sign ever that he would be his governing People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPPC) presidential candidate. “With a renewed mandate, my Government pledges to sustain and build on the gains we have already made as a country,” he said.

Announcing the imminent financial closure and commencement of the construction of the Amaila Falls Hydropower plant during the next term of office, he explicitly referred to his government.  “My Government will deliver the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project to the Guyanese people, along with all its attendant benefits,” he said.

Ramotar further promised that “my government” would work with partners to bridge the Corentyne River, complete the road to Brazil and construct a deep water harbor. Reference to “my government” was also made in pledging to improve the quality of social services being delivered.

The PPPC has so far dodged questions about whether the incumbent leader would be contesting elections expected in some quarters during April or early May, 2015.

With the Parliament already prorogued, the President has already said that he would not be lifting the suspension of the law-making body and proroguing it again. Instead, he has said that he would be dissolving Parliament and calling general and regional elections early in the New Year.

In his address to usher in 2015, the President again suggested strongly that Guyanese would be going to the polls this year ahead of the constitutionally due year of 2016 due to the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion.

“Given political conditions, I anticipate that my Guyanese brothers and sisters will be called upon in the near future to exercise the choice that will be so critical to determining the path our country will follow in the years to come,” he said.

Sponsored by the Alliance For Change (AFC), that motion was not debated in the 65-seat House because the President prorogued the Parliament on November 10, 2014 – the same day that the AFC and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had planned to pass it and make way for elections in 90 days.

President Ramotar, however, justified his decision to suspend the Parliament, saying that had he not done so thousands of Guyanese would have been disenfranchised because they would not have been registered.