ADDRESS TO THE NATION By Brigadier David Granger - GENERAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS 2011
People waited for hours to vote, many for the first time in their lives, in our general and regional elections on Monday 28th November. Lines of voters in large numbers stretched around schools, public buildings and private residences. Guyanese, on the coastland and hinterland, town and country believed that elections 2011 would be different. They believed that their voices would express that difference and that their votes could make that difference.
Young and old, rich and poor – Amerindians, Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, people of mixed origin – sent a message to the world. Guyanese are not a motley collection of races. We are not a geographical collection of ‘red’ and ‘green’ regions. We are one people and one nation.
Elections 2011, coming after 19 years of People’s Progressive Party rule, were a defining moment in our political history. Change has come to Guyana. A Partnership for National Unity persuaded a significant proportion of the people to share its vision of “A Good Life for All Guyanese.”
The elections’ results have cleared the way for a new politics – the politics of ‘inclusionary democracy’. We must seize this opportunity to reaffirm the oneness of the diverse Guyanese family and reassert the paramountcy of national unity.
A Partnership for National Unity (A.P.N.U) ran a campaign that drew its strength from ordinary working men and women and people of all classes. It drew its power from the thousands of Guyanese who organised and mobilised in their towns, villages and regions. It drew its energy from the young people who rejected the myth that their generation did not care about politics.
A.P.N.U proved that, after 45 years of Independence, our people’s determination to enjoy a better life and their desire to live in a free state were undiminished. We congratulate the electorate for its support and thank everyone who:
We all understand that the real task to develop this country still lies ahead. We all understand that the challenges of the next five years will be great. We all understand that the road ahead will be long and that our burden will be heavy.
A.P.N.U does not accept that the recent electoral process was flawless. We have demanded that the Guyana Elections Commission presents all of the Statements of Poll (SOP) of the elections for verification. We will continue to employ every legitimate means to ensure that GECOM fulfils this elementary obligation to the nation.
We iterate our commitment, also, to fulfill the promises we made to the Guyanese people. We shall pursue our legislative programme to ensure that laws are enacted to provide jobs for our youth; to provide relief from the burden of taxation; to alleviate the suffering of our people; to expose and root out corruption and to eliminate discrimination and marginalisation.
The elections’ results alone have not brought the change we sought. They are only the chance for us to make that change. That cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. There can be no change without a new spirit of service and a new spirit of sacrifice. We must resist the temptation to resort to the sort of partisanship that poisoned our politics for decades. We will progress as one nation and as one people only within the framework of ‘inclusionary democracy’.
Elections’ results, when they are verified, must open doors of opportunity to promote prosperity and good governance. Those verified results must enable us to reclaim our self esteem and to reaffirm the fundamental truth – that we are, indeed, one people and one nation.
God bless you. God bless Guyana!
APNU Presidential Candidate, Brig. David Granger, Mrs. Sandra Granger and Prime Ministerial Candidate, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine at APNU Final Rally at the Square of the Revolution on Sat. 26th December 2011
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