The newly-formed Liberal and Justice Party (LJP) is looking to make a showing at the next General Elections by touting an inclusive approach to governance.
The party was launched on Saturday evening at the Georgetown Club before a sizable gathering – most of which comprised indigenous people.
The formal proceedings opened with universal prayers followed by religious prayers from the Hindu and Christian faiths. An overview of the political history of Guyana was read, providing context to the rational for the emergence of the party.
A youth representative of the party, Latchman Dindyal then delivered brief remarks, highlighting the diverse nature of the party, which was once believed to be an indigenous one.
But Presidential Candidate, Lexon Shuman, ceased the opportunity during the featured address to dispel that notion.
“I’ve heard that the party is an Amerindian party… we are not. People seem to identify parties by their leadership. But that is not where we stand. The Liberal and Justice Party is a non-racial, anti-racial, non-sexist and non-homophobic party…” he told the attendees.
Shuman previously served as a Toshao for St. Cutbert’s Mission, and Vice Chair of the Guyana National Toshao’s Council (NTC).
According to him, equality and eradication of racial politics is the priority of the party, and the provision of better services to the people of Guyana.
“We all deserve better as Guyanese. A better education system… better public service. Public servants should be among the most respected in society. But that is not what is happening” he opined.
Shuman’s 45-minute presentation touched on a number of social and political issues unfolding in Guyana, including the loss of jobs for sugar workers.
However, he made a concerted effort to examine the plight of minority groups, including youth, women, and the differently-abled.
The LJP leader said that his party aims to create a space to accommodate these persons, and once elected, reengineer Guyana to ensure it is a friendly space for those minority groups.
He pointed to the fact that many, if not all of the Ministries’ Offices countrywide, do not have wheelchair ramps.
“This is how we have to start thinking. To create a Guyana where no one feels isolated” he shared.
An international pilot by profession, Shuman said that his presence in the political arena is not by choice, but because of necessity.
“My presence here is not because I want to be here. I would rather be sitting in a spaceship circling the earth. Sometimes the things we want is not the things we need. What Guyana needs is far different from what Guyana wants” he said.
The LJP leader added that the leadership of the party believes that it is time for Guyana to have a paradigm shift.
He said that both the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) which held executive office for decades, “failed to transform Guyana into the modern powerhouse it was meant to be”.
As a result, he shared that the party remains committed to ensuring that its participation in politics will ensure all Guyanese have a better life in the future.