BRADES – Happy, Emotional, and Proud are some of the words that Guyanese nationals on island are using to describe their feelings following news that a new multi-racial coalition had broken a 23-year Indo-Guyanese hold on the country’s seat of power.
A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change Coalition (APNU+AFC) coalition is led by former army brigadier and publisher David Granger while the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is led by outgoing President Donald Ramotar. Granger is appealing for the country to remain calm as they wait for the final announcement from the elections commission. Meanwhile Ramotar is calling for a complete recount of all votes.
The Guyana Elections Commission announced shortly after two on Thursday, May 14, 2015 the preliminary results of the election. Although the victory is a close one, with 5,360 vote difference between APNU+AFC and the PPP, the win is no less sweet for Guyanese nationals at home and abroad.
Entrepreneur Natasha Kirton had been campaigning for the new coalition from her social media profile and considers the announcement an early birthday present.
“This is so emotional for me having had a first hand experience of seeing my country operated under the late Forbes Burnham and the late Desmond Hoyte and the late Dr. Cheddie Jagan. They were men of quality and represented our entire nation without concern for race. That is what made me so passionate about our 2015 election. I wanted to see an end to 23 years of corruption, bribery, nepotism, death sounds, neglect and the lack of respect for the race and especially the depressed communities,” Kirton said passionately.
Journalist Milykhia McKenzie had similar sentiments adding she was “overjoyed by this long awaited victory. It’s time to celebrate. I remember in 1992 the Guyanese people wanted change and the PPP/C was elected and Dr. Jagan meant well for the country but after he died we were ruled by a set of people who had no respect for the law and for themselves. They caused the country to have so much crime. It’s time for Guyana to heal and develop.”
Caroll Cumberbatch Williams added she was “overwhelmed with joy. After waiting for so long, I’m relieved of the pressure that the PPP/C is no longer in power. For too long we were living under a corrupt government. A government who cared less for the Afro Guyanese community.
“I am rejoicing because the region that I came from is an opposition stronghold and we were being punished for the fact that we did not support the outgoing government. Now that the APNU+AFC will be in government I strongly believe and expect they will put more plans in rebuilding the bauxite town and the two main races will be united. The country as a whole will gain the respect we once had as a nation,” Williams declared.
The issue of racial division, international perception and the damage to the country’s natural resources was a recurring theme for the Guyanese nationals.
“I have seen my country being dragged in the gutter for 23 years and only God knows how Guyanese are feeling at this moment,” added Kirton. “The results also brought and end to divide and rule. We will now regain our respect from the international world who saw us in a negative light. Through it all we remain a proud people who knew we had the power to change it one day with our motto One People, One Nation with One Destiny. Under their (PPP/C) leadership the Chinese and the people of Brazil are raping our interiors of its natural resources.”
Yusuf Muhammad, who once served in the Guyana National Army said he wants to be a part of rebuilding his homeland.
“I left Guyana because of the high degree of drugs and crime. They (PPP/C) destroyed the future of the youth by taking away national pride and service to the nation. The country was run like a private business; the leaders each satisfying their own selfish fantasy. There was discrimination in national development and village development went only to one race of people. That was clear for even the blind to see.
“My country was destroyed and now it is time for conscious redevelopment. I am happy I found Montserrat, but I must return to my country,” he declared.
International observers have stated that the elections were free and fair and the Guyana Election Commission has said the numbers are not likely to change once reviewed.