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Opposition coalition says released manifesto incomplete; Jagdeo’s criticizes document

The manifesto of Guyana’s main opposition A Partnership for National Unity+ A Partnership for National Unity (APNU+AFC) is available by clicking on here.

The coalition’s promises include a review of salaries for top constitiutional office holders including the President, Prime Minister, judges, parliamentarians and other special offices.

The manifesto also confirms a 10 percent across-the-board wage and salary increase as a prelude to the re-commencement of Collective Bargaining between the government and the various unions representing government employees.

The 44-page pact sees APNU+AFC aiming for a 7 percent annual growth rate and the formulation of a National Development Plan after wide-ranging consultations if elected to office on May 11, 2015.

The coalition later issued the following statement:

APNU+AFC tonight is concerned about the dissemination ofan incomplete and unofficial document purporting to be the coalitions’ official manifesto.

While substantial parts of the document contain policy initiatives that are currently being discussed, it can by no mean be considered an approved statement of policy of both the APNU and the AFC.

Further dissemination or reliance on this document is therefore not recommended, as it does not represent the official manifesto of APNU+AFC.

The coalition’s disclaimer of the manifesto came a little more than one hour after Former President Bharrat Jagdeo issued the following initial criticism of the document titled ‘Our Vision for Unity, Stability and Development.’

The APNU-AFC manifesto is unimaginative, perfunctory, has no strategic clarity and it is sometimes contradictory in its policy prescriptions. 

 In my estimation, 75% is arbitrary ad hoc extraction of policies that the PPP/C is already pursuing but without the strategic framework that our government has outlined in several public documents including the NDS, PRSP, NCS, LCDS and our five-year education plan. Because of the absence of this framework, the APNU-AFC manifesto lacks focus.

Also some of their promises are outright preposterous and an insult to the intelligence of the Guyanese people.

For example on page 12 it states: “ministers and senior government officials will be required to declare their assets.” This is already in the Integrity Commission Act and is being complied with by members of the PPPC Cabinet.  The only people refusing to submit their statements of income and assets are some opposition leaders and some of their Members of Parliament.  

However what is particularly revealing is their proposal to develop a long-term economic plan within first 100 days if they win the elections. How can they say they have a plan to develop the country and at the same time promise to write one if they win the elections? This is just one of the many instances of deceit and contradiction in the manifesto.

This manifesto is also a confirmation of what has been said over the past weeks: the opposition is  notorious for being against things – Amaila Hydropower, Airport expansion, the Marriott Hotel, the Specialty Hospital, Amerindian Development Fund and UG students loans, among others. They are notorious for opposing things but are visionless and weak in outlining policies needed to improve the lives of our people.