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President, Opposition Leader cite need for including all in Guyana’s development

Last Updated on Friday, 1 January 2021, 13:31 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon have cited the need to include all in Guyana’s development as the country enters 2021.

The Guyanese leader, in apparent reference to Guyana’s expected increase in revenues as more oil wells are exploited, said the “bounty of our nation” must be shared with all Guyanese.  He said 2021 would be the springboard for Guyana to leap into recovery such as rebuilding the economy, enhancing health and lifting the standard of the vulnerable. “We must not remain a rich country of poor people,” he said.

In his administration’s quest to improve the standard of living for everyone, the President said work would be rewarded and no one would be discriminated against to be part of that process.

Dr. Ali particularly singled out the disadvantaged, saying that they would be given special attention. “I recognise that there are communities within our society who, because of disadvantages of geographic location, will need more help than others to join our national advance. We will identify those communities; assess their needs; identify solutions and implement plans to change their circumstances,” he said.

The President, however, cautioned that the the change would “not occur overnight; it will take time.”

For his part, Opposition Leader Harmon hoped that 2021 would see better opportunities for all Guyanese regardless of their backgrounds.  “As we begin a new year, a fresh chapter in our lives, I trust that 2021 brings better prospects and opportunities to each and every one of us. That we reject division and embrace unity. That we dismiss separateness and realize that only Social Cohesion and togetherness can guarantee development at the personal, community and national levels,” he said.

Mr. Harmon vowed to ensure that ordinary Guyanese are not taken advantage of and discriminated against to the benefit. “It is unacceptable that any administration completely ignores significant portions of our population and their political representatives while pursuing narrow political and other interests in government and pandering to friends and families whose primary interest is in making money above the health, welfare, security and safety of the majority of our people,” he said.

The Guyana government, in the National Assembly, earlier this week denied  that there was discrimination in providing the COVID-19 cash relief of GYD$25,000 per primary household and urged the opposition to lodge complaints of omissions to the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and Regional Councils.