President rallies party and opposition to put the people first

Georgetown, GINA, August 2, 2013

At the opening of the People’s Progressive Party’s 30th Congress today, Head of State and the party’s General Secretary Donald Ramotar called upon the party to put the people of Guyana first and to remember that above all Guyana is a nation of families whose daily struggle to survive must be the first concern of politicians of all stripes.

President Donald Ramotar addressing the PPP’s 30th Congress at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School in Port Mourant, Berbice

 

“As the People’s Progressive Party we have a duty to fight for these principles and never to relent – even in the face of an uncompromising and uncomprehending opposition.  I make this personal commitment that I, as President and Head of State, will not relent. And as General Secretary of your party, I commit you, members of the People’s Progressive Party, to never ever relent either. We cannot afford to do so because we strive for the people, and it is their dreams that we were elected to protect, foster and realise. We will press forward,” he said at the event at the J.C Chandisingh secondary school at Port Mourant, Berbice.

A section of the gathering in attendance at the PPP’s 30th Congress

President Ramotar chronicled the host of achievements the government has brought about both since the last Congress five years ago, and since he won the presidency in 2011. He however, also noted the string of impediments his government and the country have had encountered thanks to a too-often obstructionist approach by the joint opposition.

 

The former Parliamentarian noted sadly that the National Assembly had been reduced to a farce in the eyes of many Guyanese and that politicians of all stripes needed to cease acting without thinking first of the impact their actions on the future of Guyanese.

President Donald Ramotar along with Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee and other members of the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) at the party’s 30th Congress

“What they fail to see is that every time they pat themselves on the back for supposedly embarrassing the Government, it is in fact a defeat for the brighter future they claim to want for our people,” President Ramotar.

Amidst the loud cheers and agreement from the large audience that included delegates and special invitees from the Diplomatic Corps, President Ramotar said the PPP/C’s agenda remains steadfast to improve the quality of life for citizens.

 

“… whilst we are proud of the projects we have completed so far, we must never forget what all the hard work is for… all of our hard work is for you – the people, the families and the children and future children of Guyana.  Every project I talk of today is directly for that. All of the sweat, the frustrations, and the efforts that have gone into making these things happen are for the sole purpose of making life better for the people of Guyana, and to make sure there is a brighter future for our country,” President Ramotar said.

President Donald Ramotar, former President Bharrat Jagdeo and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon in discussion at the People’s Progressive Party’s 30th Congress

Among those efforts are plans to transform the country’s energy sector from thermal generation to renewable generation with the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) which is intended to make electricity cheaper and more reliable for all consumers.

The hydro project, considered the largest investment to ever be made in the country’s history has been stalled by the failure of a majority of parliamentarians to pass two crucial pieces of legislation that would have cleared the way for the commencement of construction.

President Ramotar spoke about the hydro project at today’s congress and called upon politicians from other parties to accept the hand that he had extended to them, and would continue to extend, as well as heed the expert advice of developers and economists who had endorsed and approved the project.

“This project has been in the work for decades, inspected and approved by professional economists from national agencies, private companies and our international development partners. This project has been costed and designed by the best project planners the nation and region have to offer, and reviewed and approved by the most credible agencies and financing institutions in the world. The Blackstone Group is no ordinary group; it is a company with more than $200Billion at their disposal.  This project has been called for by countless energy sector experts, all of whom agree that Amaila will bring opportunities and prosperity to our country and our people,” he explained.

For President Ramotar, the argument that growth can be achieved by cutting investment is nonsensical and said the future of the people of Guyana was too important for grandstanding politicians to “cut the PPP’s nose, to spite the face of all Guyana.”

“… the progress that we have made, it is not invincible, it is not irreversible, it has to be defended every day, it must be reinforced and pushed yet further. It relies on investing in our people” the President stated.

However, the President also said that the PPP/C government had still achieved great things ranging from massive infrastructure improvements, to improved water systems, to adding hundreds of doctors to the ranks of the health system and continued economic growth that was the envy of many, even developed countries.

Noting that government was about much more than just the goings on in Parliament, President Ramotar said that even with reversals such as the failure to pass the universally popular Firearms Amendment Bill would not stop the government from tackling and overcoming social problems such as crime and delinquency.

“Through our communities and through increased efforts to bolster, improve and assist the brave men and women in our force who put their lives on the line to protect our families and our children, we will find all the ways to support them to fight the criminals” he promised.

 

Having listed the number of achievements the country has made under the ruling PPP/C since 1992 in the various sectors, President Ramotar said the party must never forget that their overriding goal must be to serve the people, remain true to the legacy of Dr Cheddi Jagan and “renew the people’s confidence in us.”

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