Granger touts bridging Essequibo, making Guyanese richer in final plea for re-election

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Incumbent President David Granger on Saturday night said he wants to make Guyanese richer and undertake massive infrastructure projects, including bridging the Essequibo River, as part of his vision for development if re-elected to office.

“I want Guyanese to be richer,” Granger, 74, declared at a rally attended by tens of thousands at Durban Park in Georgetown.

Monday’s elections come at the start of oil production in Guyana and revenues from it promises to revolutionise the economy.

The President said the country’s oil revenues will be funnelled into the Sovereign Wealth Fund, called the Natural Resources Fund, which is being held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

“The bulk of the money will go into the Sovereign Wealth Fund, not into people’s pockets.
“…I am the man with the plan,” Granger declared.

APNU+AFC supporters at the final rally at Durban Park in Georgetown

Granger, a former Brigadier of the Guyana Defence Force, is fighting for re-election after his government collapsed in a No Confidence motion on December 21, 2018. The Constitution demanded elections in three months, but Granger’s government challenged the vote all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice and lost in the final ruling on June 18, 2019.

It was only after a strong statement from leading international donors deeming his government unconstitutional that the President in September declared March 02 as the date for elections.
Granger suggested the elections would be about leadership and a clean record – which his campaign has painted him as personifying.

Addressing a sea of gold and green – the colours of the APNU+AFC Coalition – Granger pledged to deliver on the long-promised plan to “improve” the road from Linden to Lethem on the border with Brazil as part of his Decade of Development plan.

He said his vision to remove inequality includes developing the hinterland.

“The hinterland is the greatest part of Guyana,” he said and has the greatest riches.

Region Eight, which the President said is one of the richest regions in the country, doesn’t have a highway. As such, he pledged to improve infrastructure in the hinterland.

Under Granger’s administration, four towns were set up in the hinterland regions, namely at Bartica, Mabaruma, Lethem and Mahdia.

“Development is assured under APNU+AFC,” he stated.

Further, the President repeated plans to abolish squatting.

“I have a vision for Guyana over the next decade in which every mother will have a roof over her head,” Granger declared.

There are 178 squatter settlements in the country, the President stated.

“We are on a programme to abolish slum, shanty towns and squatter settlements,” he declared.

He said he has a plan for youth empowerment, and pointing to his move to restart the Guyana Youth Corps and said technical institutes will be set up in every region.

“Young people have to take over this country and we have to prepare them to lead this country,” he stated.
The APNU+AFC Coalition narrowly won the 2015 elections, taking just one seat more than the PPP in the National Assembly.

When one of its own members defected, it caused the PPP, with 32 seats in the 65-seat House, to win the No Confidence vote and force these elections to be held, cutting down the Coalition’s five-year term.

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