Granger urges Anna Regina to abandon voting along party lines
By Bibi Khatoon
Local Government Elections (LGE) will be held in Guyana for the second time on November 12, since a change of Government in 2015.
On Monday afternoon, Leader of the APNU and President of Guyana, David Granger travelled to the Town of Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast to address residents at a public meeting.
“This is a beautiful and complex region, a region which deserves the best leadership,” the Leader told residents at the Anna Regina car park as he urged residents to desist from voting based on the candidates’ political affiliation.
Anna Regina was one of the towns won by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) at the 2016 LGE. In fact, the entire region is dubbed a PPP/C stronghold.
“You need people in your Town Council who are multi-talented –they don’t go there because they belong to a political party – they go there because they are prepared to work for Anna Regina and work for Region two,” Mr. Granger said to the residents.
The President told those gathered that the Pomeroon-Supenaam region has suffered from poor leadership over the years.
He explained that while the region is larger than the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and supplies 16% of the national rice production, 14% of the national fish and shrimp production and 48% of the country’s coconut production, “it is poor because of poor leadership.”
“Next month on the 12th of November, we’re going to change that, we’re going to give Anna Regina better leadership,” he told those in attendance.
Unlike the March 2016 local elections, the APNU which forms part of the Government, will be contesting the local elections without its coalition partner, the Alliance For Change (AFC).
Outlining the responsibility of the Town Council, the President said those elected to manage the Anna Regina Town Council has to look after public services, health care services, sanitation and waste management, drainage canals, security and economic development.
“It is not just a passive town council where people just get elected and they sit down there.”
He noted that though the residents have supported the PPP/C over the years, it continues to see a large portion of its residents migrating to other regions for employment and other reasons –suggesting there has been a lack of confidence in the regional administration.
“If the Government so great, how come the population fall? The truth is that the people running away from the PPP Government…a falling population suggests a lack of confidence in the regional and municipal administration and you know who was in charge of the regional and municipal administration between 2000 and 2012 –the PPP,” Granger said.
At the conclusion of the community meeting, President Granger presented some 20 bicycles to school-aged children of Anna Regina and neighbouring communities as part of the Public Education Transport Service (PETS).
At the 2016 LGE, Anna Regina, Rose Hall and Corriverton went to the PPP/C while APNU+AFC won the popular vote in Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Mabaruma, Bartica and Lethem.
The Opposition also won 24, 894 votes more than the APNU+AFC under the PR component of the elections that year –a major victory just one year after the 2015 General and Regional elections which ousted it from Government.
This year’s LGE is being held just two years before the next General and Regional Elections which is slated for 2020.
2020 is also set for oil production which will transform the country’s economy and as such, critics believe the parties have split to measure their support and show their worth for a space at the table come 2020.