‘This would never happen again in the history of our country’ – President Ali recalls March 2020 elections

In a live address to the nation on the 4th anniversary of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali reminded that the government is grounded on a foundation that upholds the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

For this reason, the Guyanese leader is adamant that blatant assault on the country’s democracy which occurred in 2020 will not be repeated.

His Excellency President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

After casting their votes on March 2, 2020, Guyanese had to endure an approximately five-month delay in the announcement of the results, during which attempts were made to rig the elections in favour of the then A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU\AFC) government.

“Those five months were particularly difficult. It shows how fragile our democracy was. It showed how hell-bent the APNU/AFC coalition was on stealing the greatest democratic value of citizenship – the right to elect a government of your choice. We did not allow them then. And we will not allow them ever again,” the president said.

He drew attention to the significant progress made in the country since then, saying, “This journey that we embarked on has not been an easy one. Whilst we have achieved more than we had planned, exceeding the commitments we made in the manifesto, none of this should be taken for granted.”

The president recalled that when the PPP/C government assumed office in 2020, they had to grapple with the debilitating effects of a global pandemic. However, according to President Ali, his government rose to the occasion, implementing a suite of measures and investing in enabling programmes and infrastructure to tackle the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

“Coming into office, after a government would have spent billions of dollars on a COVID hospital, yet we met an incomplete shell with no oxygen lines, no beds, nothing that resembled a hospital. Within weeks, we made that facility functional, working 24 hours, around the clock. In so doing, we kept our economy open, and saved more than 73,000 lives,” he added.

Notably, the head of state pointed out that within the first 100 days in office, the PPP/C government removed more than 200 burdensome taxes and fees.

“We returned thousands of workers back to work. We reopened and rebuilt the mining sector. We reinvested in agriculture, reinvested in drainage and irrigation, building back our productive capacity and capability. We inspired confidence, brought back the bauxite industry, creating thousands of jobs. That is the government you elected,” he expressed.

The president said that today, the evidence of the government’s hard work is clear. He highlighted the expansion and vast improvements in healthcare service and infrastructure, the enhanced quality of education being meted out to Guyanese, and the increased accessibility within the housing sector.

Across all areas, Guyanese are being empowered with the necessary tools to elevate their livelihoods, and the president assured that this effort will continue.  

“We have delivered on every single promise we made in the manifesto. We have delivered on every single commitment we made to the Guyanese people. We have improved mortality rates. We have improved life expectancy. We have improved pensions, social services, and education services. We have invested in the hinterland, in the indigenous people of our country. We have brought back the thousands of jobs that were taken away from the CSOs. We are expanding livelihood options,” the head of state emphasised.  

This feat has not been without its challenges, but President Ali reminded that the PPP/C government remains steadfast in their quest to build a strong, resilient and sustainable country.