Incumbent President David Granger called on East Coast Demerara residents to show up at the polls in convincing numbers to cement an APNU+AFC re-election at the March 2, elections.
Speaking before a large gathering of supporters at Golden Grove on Friday night, President Granger reminded the East Coast Demerara residents that Region Four is the smallest region in Guyana, but with the biggest population.
“If we win this region convincingly, then we win the whole elections. This is a battlefield region and we have to win the battle right here on the East Coast, right here in Demerara. This is a battle that we must win”, Mr. Granger said.
He told his supporters that he wants overall voter turn out to be upwards of 80% for the elections. The current Revised List of Electors has more than 600,000 persons on the voters’ list.
Mr. Granger reminded the East Coast Demerara residents of some of the problems they faced under the last PPP Civic government, pointing out that they won those battles when the coalition was elected to power in 2015 and they must win the battles again.
“We won the battle against the phantom, we won the battle against the greatest flood in your lifetime, the flood in 2005, we flood the battle against dividing the villages into red villages and green villages, we won the battle against the troubles between 2000 and 2010. But tonight my comrades, we have to win the battles of numbers. You know in 2015, only 75% of the people of this region voted and the coalition only won 61% of that 75%, the PPP won 39%. Can you imagine that, after 23 years of punishment, 39% of the people in this region voted for the PPP. The problem I face tonight is that 25% of the people were absent without leave”, Granger told the thousands gathered.
He said “I don’t want 75% of the people to turn up, I want 80% and 85%”.
The President reflected on some of the work that he did during his first term in office and spoke about opportunities for young people through the Guyana Youth Corps, pointing out that while the last government shut down the National Service, he was the one who brought back the Youth Corps “to give the young people work and a purpose in life even if they drop out of school”.
The President said the coalition government will deliver free education from nursery to university as it was before the PPP went into office in 1992.
He also spoke about programmes that have been put in place to assist young girls and women in their personal and economic development. Mr. Granger also noted that more will be done for the pensioners of Guyana.
“When I entered the 10th Parliament in 2012, pensioners were getting $7,500 and now pensioners are getting over $20,000. If you thank you notes that I get, thank you Mr. President, Do it again”.
Granger turned his attention to former President Bharrat Jagdeo who while not being the PPP’s Presidential Candidate has been leading the PPP’s election charge.
Describing Jagdeo as “the Pharoah”, Granger said “he likes to attack because he has so much to defend. He loves to rant and rave but he does not think before he speaks”.
According to the President, he seems to be the focus of attacks from Jagdeo because Jagdeo thinks he is quiet, “but let me tell you something. Have you ever seen me go into SOCU for interrogation? Or go into the Law Court over the questionable acquisition of land? Have you ever heard about Granger using official Government of Guyana letterhead paper to order espionage equipment to give crooks and bandits? I don’t do that. If he wants to criticize, let him talk about the people who ordered the spy equipment and the people who are trekking to SOCU and the Magistrates’ Court to face questions about Pradoville”.
Jagdeo has also used the campaign trail to describe the incumbent President as an old and weak candidate who may not be fit for office. The 74-year-old Granger fired back at the criticism at the Golden Grove rally.
“Why do they criticise my age, I know my age, I don’t hide my age. When he was appointed a Minister, the President who appointed him was older than me. And when he was appointed Prime Minister, the lady who appointed him was older than me. She was 77. So what does he have against old people? He only got where he got because of old people”, Granger said to the support of the large crowd.
He said it is eye pass from the PPP to be criticizing him as a retired Brigadier when it has now found itself turning to another retired Brigadier as its Prime Minister Candidate.
The President assured the East Coast Demerara residents that being a husband and father allows him to care for people more and to understand people more. He called on residents not to be distracted by untruths but to focus on ensuring a coalition victory by turning out in their numbers at the polls on Elections day.