“Come and join us!” – Ali urges more APNU candidates

A number of candidates from the Opposition have already joined the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) ahead of the June 12 Local Government Elections (LGE), and according to President Dr Irfaan Ali, his party is willing to welcome more Opposition candidates who share the party’s vision of developing Guyana.
The President made this call while on the campaign trail in Kwakwani, Region 10, urging A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) candidates to join the PPP and leave the “lane of shame” behind, presumably a reference to the Opposition.
“We have a responsibility to awake those who are sleepwalking into the future. To awake them and bring them along on the vision of good governance. So, I call upon all the APNU/AFC/PNC candidates. To come and join us! Come! We are welcoming you with open arms.”

President Dr Irfaan Ali on the campaign trail

“Join us, in the interest of the people. Join us, in the interest of development. Join us, in the interest of Kwakwani. We’re not telling you to join us in the interest of politics. Join us in the interest of the people if you so love them! Walk away from the lane of shame!” Ali said.
President Ali also used the opportunity of the campaign in Kwakwani to roll out his Administration’s plans for the community and what they have already done.
For instance, Ali revealed that since coming to office, the PPP/C has already spent some $700 million on roads in the community. He also assured that the infrastructure works in the community will be just one of the ways the Government provides jobs for them.
“We have spent more than $700 million on roads alone! And what is our plan? Our plan is to use the labour from this community, so we will create the jobs right here to have the remaining roads completed and worked on by the time we get to 2025.”
“We have spent tens of millions of dollars in agriculture. And what is our plan? We want to open up the agriculture sector in this region. We want to push honey production and get the Guyana Marketing Corporation to come here and work with you, so we can advance the honey industry. And we can help in the marketing of the product,” the President further said.
According to the President, residents of Kwakwani will see even more investment in this area in the coming years in an effort to make the community a major producer of honey in Guyana and the Region. Help may even be coming from Cuba.
“We’re already discussing with the Cuban Government, a specialised team that will come here to help us develop this industry. You’re voting for the future. You’re voting to advance these projects. In health, we’re investing in a new ultrasound machine. New ambulance. Biochemistry facility. More than $100 million investment. And we will continue to make these investments.”
“Here in Kwakwani, we have returned this year alone to the more than 619 children, the $40,000 cash grant to the children of Kwakwani. That is putting back almost $25 million, this year alone, in the pockets of 619 children here…,” the President said.

A section of the attendees at the Kwakwani rally

President Ali also noted that his party has been there for Kwakwani regardless of whether they supported the party or not. He highlighted the fact that when in Government, PPP/C’s Cabinet Ministers made over 100 visits to the community. He contrasted this with the APNU’s lack of visits to the community and urged voters and candidates to make the right choice.
“Walk with your heads high up, in support of a system that supports democracy and freedom. In support of a system that sees our people as one. I will not rest as a President until we bring this country together. Every single community, village and town… there is no stopping this train of unity!’” the President said.
The Opposition has been rocked by a number of defections of notable figures in their party who have gone over to the PPP/C over the past few months. Former Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and then sitting APNU Councillor Trichria Richards were among the new personalities who have gone over to the PPP/C as the party vies to take control of Georgetown at the Local Government polls.
They were among the large crowd of PPP/C members and candidates who arrived at the Critchlow Labour College last month to submit the party’s candidate lists for the LGE polls set for Monday, June 12.
Chase-Green and Richards are both former members of APNU on the Georgetown Mayor and City Council. Chase-Green had expressed confidence in both the vision of her party of choice and the list they submitted.
In an interview with this publication, Richards had said her decision to join PPP/C stemmed from her lack of confidence in her former party. According to her, she has confidence in the PPP/C’s plans.
The most recent defections have been longstanding PNCR member Ronald Backer, who has thrown his support behind the PPP. At one time, Backer was the political advisor to former Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon.
And over in Linden, Region 10, where the PPP/C won just one of 16 council seats in 2018, a notable inclusion on the party’s list of candidates is former Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament Audwin Rutherford. (G3)