Hundreds of supporters of the incumbent APNU+AFC Coalition Government of President David Granger in Guyana rallied Thursday night in Brooklyn for the re-election of the government in the March 2 general elections in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-state.
Waving flags and dancing to Trinidadian soca artiste Farmer Nappy’s “Hookin Meh” (Garbage Bag version), which is fast becoming the APNU+AFC’s campaign song, supporters jammed the Guyanese-owned Grace Christian Church in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.
The event, dubbed “An APNU+AFC Diaspora Campaign Rally,” capitalized on the presence of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Karen Cummings, who, on Wednesday addressed the formal handing-over ceremony of Guyana becoming the 2020 chair of the United Nations’ Group of 77 and China.
Nagamootoo assured the ebullient crowd, at the near-three-hour rally, that the Coalition Government will be re-elected in the forthcoming polls.
“We have two months short of our five years in government; we’ll renew it,” he said to boisterous applause. “Tonight is a very serious night. You have interest in Guyana, and you know the reality has changed in Guyana.
“You can see the changes; you can see the landscape has changed,” the prime minister added. “I served under five presidents, and I have not seen the changes as now.”
He said the incumbent government has “reached out” to all Guyanese, stating that the administration has “restored integrity in public life.”
Among other things, Nagamootoo said APNU+AFC Coalition, during the last four-odd years, increased the minimum wage by 77 percent.
“Where we have brought back Guyana, we restored Parliamentary Democracy,” he said. “The autonomy of Parliament is guaranteed. We restored the independence of the judiciary.
“Under my tenure, no journalist has been prosecuted,” he added. “We restored the freedom of the media and expanded the media. We restored the respect for the country in the international forum.
“For us, country comes first; sovereignty comes first,” Nagamootoo continued. “You don’t mess around with that.”
With the discovery of 17 oil fields in Guyana, the prime minister said “on a per capita basis, Guyana will be the single richest country in the world.”
He said the APNU+AFC Coalition has “a plan and a vision” for Guyana, dubbed “20/40 Development,” in which, among other things, trains and railroads will be introduced, and the general road, health and education infrastructure expanded.
The prime minister also disclosed that 18 airlines are already “lined up” to “come to Guyana.”
“In five (campaign) events, you can see the coalition energizing,” Nagamootoo said. “So, we have to mobilize. Those of you who register (to vote), go back (to vote).
“We have restored viability to government,” he said. “This is not a time for division. No one can repay for reparations. You have an opportunity now; and, do not let it slip from you.
“Having entered my 59th year of politics, I’m not about to leave,” Nagamootoo continued. “I’m for the return of Granger.”
He then asked the crowd to help him sing his version of the negro spiritual, “Never Get Weary Yet.” Supporters enthusiastically obliged.
“Moses (Nagamootoo) never get weary yet,” he sang. “David (Granger) never get weary yet. We’re in the struggle, and we never get weary yet.”
Cummings said “every sector is in better shape” since the APNU+AFC took office almost five years ago.
“That’s why Guyanese will re-elect APNU+AFC,” she said. “APNU+AFC has delivered more than the PPP (main opposition People’s Progressive Party during its 23 years in office).
“No government has done more for the Guyanese people in such a short space of time,” Cummings added. “Encourage your relatives back in Guyana not to stop the progress. Guyana is on the rise. So, it’s important to support the APNU+AFC.
“On Election Day, I want you to encourage everyone to get up early, get up early and vote,” she urged. “Vote Mar. 2 for President Granger. Long live the APNU +AFU Coalition!”
Errol Lewis, chair of the Brooklyn-based PNCR North American Region, said: “2019 was a good year (for the Coalition Government); 2020 must be a better year.
“Coalition politics is here to stay, and we must re-elect President David Granger,” he said.
Rickford Burke, president of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), one of the organizers of the event, said: “Our Coalition is united.
“We’re not going back; we’re going forward,” he said. “You have to make sure everybody in our community go out and vote.
“We cannot afford to have the PPP in power,” he warned. “We have to make sure everyone of us in the Diaspora go out and vote.”
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