Moments after bestowing Guyana’s Order of Roraima upon Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that more people who helped to defend Guyana’s democracy will be awarded this year.
“As a country, later this year, we will be recognising many other regional contributors and national contributors who in a very truthful and honest way, independently stood up for democracy, the rule of law and freedom for Guyana,” the Guyanese Head of State said.
He added that standing up for democracy is no simple feat.
According to the President, doing so requires character, selflessness and integrity- all qualities he posited Prime Minister Gonsalves displayed.
The Order of Roraima is Guyana’s second highest National Award. And on Tuesday night, the President Ali said it was being conferred upon Prime Minister Gonsalves for his commitment to Caribbean development and his support for Guyana’s democracy.
Gonsalves is a Caribbean statesman, who has been involved in politics for about 50 years.
In 2020, during Guyana’s protracted General and Regional Elections, he stood by reports that Guyana’s March 2 elections were properly conducted and figures from the national vote recount should be used to declare the winner.
In March 2021, one year after the protracted elections, President Ali announced that a new ‘Order of Democracy’ award would be established “in recognition of the contributions of those individuals and organisations who defied the riggers and defended our democracy.”
This award has not yet been conferred upon anyone.