The People’s Progressive Party rolled in to its stronghold of Essequibo on Saturday afternoon and urged supporters to stick with the PPP Civic when they head into the polling booth on May 11, 2015.
Thousands of party supporters gathered at the historic Damon’s Square in Anna Regina to rally around President Donald Ramotar and his team. In his address, President Ramotar pleaded with Essequibians to keep him in office and judge him and his party on their nearly 23 years in office.
He said the PPP C is proud of its record and will work harder to bring more development to the Essequibo region.
“You should judge us on our record and there is no way the APNU and PNC record can compare to us. That is why they don’t want to talk about the past, they don’t have a record that could compare to our record and these elections are about character as well and the PPP/C is proud of the fact that it takes its promises seriously.”
The President promised the large crowd that a new PPP Civic administration will work tougher to develop the Essequibo region and support the rice industry.
Essequibo rice farmers have openly criticized the government for not doing enough to support the rice industry in the region.
Over the past few years, many of them have complained about the lack of proper access to the market and rice millers taking advantage of farmers. Some rice farmers have also complained about favoritism when it comes to selecting suppliers for the international market.
Mr. Ramotar said the government has made lots of investment in the rice industry and will continue to do so.
Prime Ministerial Candidate, Elisabeth Harper was greeted with loud applause as she took the stage and spoke to the crowd about some of the plans she would like to see put in place by a new government.
She spoke about the need for more social programmes and also told Essequibo that a PPP Civic government will continue to maintain Guyana’s territorial sovereignty. Harper who is the former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promised “not a blade of grass” as she highlighted Venezuela’s continuous claim to the region.
For decades, Venezuela has laid claim to the county of Essequibo as its own, although the matter was settled at the international level. It was under the Forbes Burnham administration that Guyana declared “not a blade of grass” in its defence of its territorial integrity.
Also speaking at the rally was former President Bharrat Jagdeo who used his time on stage to warn the Essequibo crowd about complacency.
Mr. Jagdeo who has been accused of fear mongering on the political stage since the campaign started, told Essequibians that they must vote solidly for the PPP to ensure a wide victory since he is convinced a close race could see “trouble” from the opposition.
In the past on the campaign trail, Jagdeo has also said the rate of exchange for the U.S dollar would move from the current G$200 to US$1 and the US embassy would reduce the number of visas it issues should the APNU+AFC coalition take the seat of government.
The US Embassy has made clear that its visa policy is well grounded and is not determined by what party is in office.
The PPP will host its next rally on Sunday afternoon in another stronghold, the village of Albion in Berbice. (Photo Credit: PPP/C)
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