President David Granger returned to the National Assembly today in his new role as Executive President to open the 11th Parliament and immediately extended a hand to the opposition People’s Progressive Party to take up its seats in the National Assembly and work along with his government in the interest of all the people of Guyana.
“We renew our invitation for the PPP to join APNU+AFC in the House. This is the time for collaboration,” Granger said.
The President noted that his coalition government is willing to work to reinforce the foundation of nation building but he is not interested in doing so alone or by locking out the opposition.
“Let us put the hostility of the hustings behind us. Let us eschew the rancour of the campaign and the rhetoric of rivalry. Let us look to the future with hope, determined to do only what is best for the Guyanese people now and for generations to come. Let us reinforce the foundation of our nation by working together for the common good. We are the National Assembly not a political party rally”, the President declared.
The People’s Progressive Party was absent from the opening of the 11 Parliament as it is still to name its members and continues to protest the outcome of the elections.
It’s 32 seats were all empty.
But Mr. Granger told the opening of the Parliament that “the elections campaign is over, the ballots were cast, tally taken and results declared… it is time we put the hostility and rhetoric of rivalry behind us and look to the future with hope and determination to do what is best for the Guyanese people.”
He reminded elected officials, both in his government and the opposition, that there is work to be done and people to serve. President Granger said this is the time for all Guyanese from as far as the Hinterland to the Coastland to come together.
He said his government will be a government of the people and he announced that there will be increases in the old age pension and public servants wages when the budget is presented in a few months.
The President made it clear that he is President of all Guyanese. He promised a series for new legislation including the President’s Pension and other benefits (amendment) Bill to cap benefits, including tax-free concessions and to specify some conditions under which the benefits are to be enjoyed.
He also said efforts will be directed towards the elimination of poverty and delivery of cheap electricity. President Granger said there will be the restoration of the annual subvention to Critchlow Labour College. That subvention was removed by the PPP government and that decision severely affected the work of the educational institution.
“The opening of the 11th Parliament signifies an opportunity for a new start for this great country and its good people. The state of the nation requires visionary leadership. We have assembled a Cabinet of men and women who can provide that leadership. They have the expertise, experience and enthusiasm to repair the damage which has been wrought over the past two decades.”
Today’s opening of the 11th Parliament marked the first time that the National Assembly was convened in 11 months. The 10th Parliament went into recess in July of last year and was prorogued in November and later dissolved as the PPP government dodged a no confidence motion.
The party moved on to early elections and lost those elections on May 11. (Kurt Campbell)