President Ali pays homage to Owen Arthur during inauguration ceremony
President Dr Irfaan Ali on Saturday observed a moment of silence during his inauguration ceremony at the National Cultural Centre in honour of the late Owen Arthur, Former Prime Minister of Barbados.
The newly elected President paid homage to the former Caribbean Leader as “a true friend of Guyana; a man committed to justice and to right…[a] warrior in our cause.”
Arthur died at age 70 on July 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he was hospitalised in mid-July with heart complications and was in the Intensive Care Unit.
Mr Arthur led the Commonwealth Observer team at the March 2 regional and general elections in Guyana. That was his last regional public outing.
During his time here, the former Caribbean leader spoke out against attempts to alter the results of the election to favour the former APNU+AFC administration when numbers showed a win for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) by over 15,000 votes.
Even after he left Guyana, the leader was stern in his remarks against attempts to change the results of the election.
Dr Ali said in his speech to dignitaries gathered at the ceremony that Mr Arthur was “one man who put our country before he put himself in his determination that democracy should not die in Guyana, nor should our people be deprived of their political rights.”
He said Mr Arthur is among the names of persons who will “form a lexicon of heroes of our nation.”
Arthur was Barbados’ fifth Prime Minister.
He led the country for an unprecedented three consecutive terms from 1994 to 2008, having served as Member of Parliament for the constituency of St Peter from 1984 to 2013.
In 2013, Arthur announced that election would be his last after the Barbados Labour Party was defeated.
Since retiring from political office, Arthur was conferred with the title of Professor of Practice: Economics of Development by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in November 2018 and in January 2020, was appointed chairman of the Board of LIAT the Caribbean Airline.