Last Updated on Saturday, 10 June 2023, 20:40 by Writer
The opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Saturday encouraged Guyanese to vote solidly against the People’s Progressive Party in Monday’s Local Government Elections (LGE) to signal their disgust with a range of national issues.
“Let us use our votes to send a message to the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) that life is hard in Guyana. Use our votes to protest the high cost of living, to protest the daily struggles to put food on the table, to protest the incompetence of government ministers, and to protest the hopelessness that has enveloped our society,” APNU Chairman and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Leader, Aubrey Norton said in a statement.
The Russia-Ukraine war and supply chain problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have triggered increased cost of living globally. The PPP central governmemt has not reshuffled its cabinet or publicly criticised ministers’ performance, despite concerns about the quality of a number of road projects and the non-implementation of a number of recommendations to improve school dormitories. Last month, a dormitory was burnt down allegedly by a student resulting in the death of 20 children followed by the burning of a hostel allegedly by four teenage boys. Nineteen girls escaped unhurt.
Reasoning that the LGEs have national implications above and beyond local problems, Mr Norton accused the PPP government of plotting to use the results of Monday’s polls to claim that Guyanese are satisfied with their lives. “The PPP wants to use the results to claim that your daily problems and struggles are not real. We know they are real. We face serious challenges daily. The PPP wants to use the results of LGE 2023 as a license to continue to engage in corruption, divisiveness and political control and domination. We must not give them the chance to do so,” he said
He encouraged Guyanese in the 10 towns and 70 neighborhoods to go out early and vote for councilors, Mr Norton said the performance of those elected bodies remained important in their quest for improved services.
“No doubt, within your towns and communities, several local issues continue to concern you and affect your quality of life. We all have a right to live in clean, appealing, well-maintained, and healthy surroundings. How our local councils perform therefore must remain important,” he said.
For PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, he and his traditionally Indo-Guyanese backed party have been openly targeting Afro-Guyanese who have historically supported the PNCR/APNU, saying the time has come to “take away” Georgetown from that opposition party because it has failed to deliver basic services and infrastructure to city dwellers. Similarly, the PPP has been targeting PNCR/APNU strongholds like Linden, Bartica, Mahdia and New Amsterdam, saying that already promises of improved roads, more housing developments, and increased children’s cash grants have been delivered.