By Kemol King
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Minister of parliamentary affairs and governance, Gail Teixeira says the PPP/C government is working to ensure every Guyanese benefit from the nation’s resources. The minister’s statement comes in the wake of an article published by the online news entity, Demerara Waves on Wednesday titled ‘Second US Congressman calls for wealth sharing, political inclusion in Guyana’. The article quotes United States (US) Congressmen, Hank Johnson and Albio Sires, who spoke of the need for Guyana to ensure inclusive economic growth.
“We have been saying this all the time. The manifesto of the PPP/C during the election campaign and in the programmes, we brought out since, focuses on making sure that Guyanese benefit not only from oil money, but from the development of our nation, and the modernisation and expansion of our economic base,” minister Teixeira said.
The minister spoke of the government’s COVID-19 relief programme which saw hampers and cash grants distributed to households. This initiative accompanied the range of social programmes by the government to assist particular demographics, such as school children and Indigenous villages. The minister said this shows that the government has been working to ensure Guyanese benefit from the country’s wealth before, during and after oil.
The minister also addressed the government’s response to the countrywide flooding which has ravaged communities. government had engaged the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as well as United Nations Organisations and civil society, to assist with an assessment of the damage.
Even before this assessment, the government distributed hampers, hygiene kits and cleaning materials. The minister explained that the relief effort has been concentrated on communities that have been most impacted. She said the government has committed to helping those communities rebuild, once the floodwaters have receded.
Minister Teixeira said the PPP/C Government believes in Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana, which speaks to the principal objective of Guyana’s political system being an inclusionary democracy. She said the proof of this can be found in this administration’s performance since it assumed office on August 2, 2020.
The minister explained that the APNU+AFC, on the other hand, is guilty of discrimination, and that is evident in the manner in which it governed the country.
“It is the APNU+AFC that has discriminated in the five years. They terminated 1,972 Amerindian community service officers. They terminated 7,000 sugar workers. 30,000 people lost their jobs in that period, including other public servants, approximately over 2,000 who lost their jobs because the colour of their skin was wrong, or the colour of their politics was wrong. We have witnessed this in the five years, and we are not going to allow that to happen again in our country.”
She added that the APNU+AFC remained in office well past the December 2018 No Confidence Motion, in defiance of the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) regarding the holding of elections.
Minister Teixeira said the party also caused Guyana to wait five months for the declaration of the elections results, even as the country battled a pandemic. She reminded that even now, after losing the election, APNU+AFC refers to the democratically elected PPP/C Government as “installed”. She said it was the people of Guyana who installed the government by their votes, despite those results being delayed by the APNU+AFC and officials of the Guyana Elections Commission who are now before the courts on election-related charges.
Minister Teixeira said the government has no issue with the calls by the two US congressmen in relation to all Guyanese benefitting from Guyanese wealth.
“We are committed to the sustainable development goals. We are committed to article 13 of our constitution. We are committed to constitutional rule of law, and participatory democracy.”
Notwithstanding that, the minister said the government will not be bullied. Therefore, government looks forward to the APNU+AFC taking a mature political stance which recognises the legitimacy of the PPP/C government, after which opportunities for dialogue on a number of issues will be opened.