Presidential Candidate of the APNU+AFC Coalition, retired Brigadier David Granger, is urging members of the Disciplined Forces to support his party when they head to the polls on Saturday, May 2.
Members of the Disciplined Forces usually vote one week before the rest of the country. There are just over 7,000 eligible voters in the Disciplined Services which include members of the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force.
On Friday, Granger penned a full page advertisement letter to his “fellow service men and service women”, reminding them of the security crisis that has been facing the country over the past years under the People’s Progressive Party, and encouraging them to vote for change.
Mr. Granger wrote that “Guyana has been suffering from the most severe and sustained security crisis in its history over the past fifteen years during the presidencies of Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar”.
The Presidential Candidate pointed out that the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force which should help in making Guyana safe, have been left under-resourced, under-funded, and under-equipped by the governing party. He said the combined cost of crime and incompetence has taken a toll on everyone’s quality of life in the country.
He mentioned the Disciplined Forces Commission which was constituted under the Jagdeo presidency to make recommendations for the development of the Disciplined Forces. Granger said the Commission made over 150 recommendations and most of them are still to be instituted by the government and those include better working conditions and better salaries for members of the security forces.
According to Mr. Granger, Guyana no longer needs to suffer from criminal violence and or endure vulgar insults to its servicemen and women by PPP officials.
“I pledge therefore, that an APNU+AFC coalition under my presidency will increase your pay to liveable levels and improve your condition of service”.
Mr. Granger served for a number of years in the Guyana Defence Force and rose to the level of a Commander at the rank of Brigadier before he retired. He retired as a well respected, highly decorated senior officer and continues to enjoy the support and respect of many in the military.
Several retired members of the Disciplined Forces have offered their support and endorsement of the APNU+AFC coalition.
President Donald Ramotar and the PPP Civic have also been reaching out to members of the Disciplined Forces for support on elections day. However, former President Bharrat Jagdeo who has been on the campaign trail with the President has been telling supporters that should the APNU+AFC be elected, members of the military will kick down their doors.
His remarks have been described as fear mongering and several former and current members of the military have condemned the remarks.
The Guyana Defence Force even had the Chief of Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips travel around to various army bases to encourage his troops to vote and to cast that vote for whoever they want.
According to a release from the GDF, Brigadier Phillips told the servicemen and women that “contrary to what has been peddled nationally, the Guyana Defence Force is a professional organisation and remains the stable band in the society”.