An environment of peace, progress has been achieved – Shridath Ramphal
World-renowned Guyanese born diplomat, Sir Shridath Ramphal has congratulated the new Government on its ascension to office as he called on all Guyanese to seize the opportunity to build a better country.
“Guyanese everywhere and Guyana’s many friends are relieved and grateful that the worst of times are over. Now must begin the best of times,” Sir Ramphal expressed in a statement on the conclusion of Guyana’s prolonged electoral process.
In congratulating President Dr Irfaan Ali and his new Government, Sir Ramphal said he also welcomes their expressed commitment to make “those best of times come true for all Guyana and all Guyanese.”
According to the distinguished diplomat, “the new Government starts with the goodwill of all who stood by Guyana’s side in the struggle that democracy and the rule of law has won.”
He further remarked that “the environment of peace and progress is achieved; Guyanese must now seize the opportunity to build a prosperous Guyana for all, without exception.”
President Ali, in his inaugural speech as Head of State, assured the public that his party will work towards building a better country for everyone.
Specifically, Dr Ali asserted that “there is one future and that future requires a united Guyana. That future requires a strong Guyana. That future requires every Guyanese to play a part in building our country, ensuring we leave a better Guyana for the next generation. We are in this together. We are not separated by class, by ethnicity, by religion or by political persuasion. We are united in the true Guyanese spirit.”
Meanwhile, Sir Ramphal has been a welcomed voice of reason during Guyana’s tense electoral impasse.
On many occasions, the former Guyanese Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs issued statements calling for peace, the rule of law, and democracy to prevail.
In one instance in June 2020, Sir Ramphal urged Guyanese leaders “as Guyana nears the tipping point of its ‘elections crisis’ I plead with all my fellow Guyanese not to allow our motherland to descend into the darkness of denial of the rule of law and regularity… we owe it to ourselves, to the Caribbean Community which we have helped to bring to life, and to the wider global community whose respect we have earned as an enlightened democratic State – not to debase ourselves by descent into the pit of lawlessness.”
Later that month when the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairwoman, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh had made a decision to declare the winner of the elections based on the recount results, Sir Ramphal lauded the move, noting that “as one who pleaded that we, Guyanese, ‘do not descend into the pit of lawlessness’, I applaud the Chairman of GECOM, Claudette Singh, for elevating the rule of law above all other considerations.”
The former Chancellor of the University of the West Indies has also commented when the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled in July that the recount results must be used as the basis of an election declaration in Guyana. At that time, Sir Ramphal had called on GECOM to uphold its constitutional duty and ensure democracy prevails.
Sir Ramphal had also served as the second Secretary General of the Commonwealth from 1975 to 1990 and he is also a former Chairman of the West Indian Commission. He is currently a member of Guyana’s legal team at the International Court of Justice in the Guyana-Venezuela border case.