The Elections decision

by John Da Silva
Guyana Chronicle
January 25, 2001

OF outstanding interest to all Guyanese is the outcome of the Elections petition case. It is clear to most of us that the PPP/Civic Government is not illegal and has never been illegal.

The Government is and has lawfully been in place at all times and will have to remain in place until the March 19 elections. The Government and Parliament are legal until new elections.

It is my view that the conclusions of the overseas and local observers that the result of the elections was above board and that the process was free and fair has been vindicated. No evidence of fraud has been found, as also had been stated by the CARICOM Audit Commission.

Prior to the 1997 General and Regional elections the Election Commission had recommended the Voter Identification Law and the Inter Party Committee on Electoral Reform (IPCER) unanimously supported it and all the political parties in Parliament supported the passage of this legislation.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land as we all know and it is clear to us that now as determined by the Elections Commission, elections could not be held by January 17 the new date of March 19 has been agreed by all the Parliamentary parties at a meeting summoned by His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo.

There is no Constitutional crisis as the PNC opposition is trying to portray.

We should note from the elections in December 1997 to now the continued development of the country and improvement in the welfare of the people.

Potable water is now reaching most people across Guyana and plans are afoot to further improve the distribution systems. Water treatment plants and pumps have been set up in several areas to serve large sections of the population.

Hundreds of schools continue to be built, renovated or refurbished in the ten Regional districts.

Over 20,000 more house lots have been distributed across the country, 22 new housing schemes were established and the regularisation process of squatter areas in all regions is far advanced.

Sugar production last year was the second highest in 18 years at 273,205 tonnes.

Poultry meat production for last year reached 25,939,421 pounds as well as over 30 million table eggs.

Seafoods continue to play a very important role in helping to feed the nation and as a major foreign currency earner.

In the area of health, the Georgetown Public Hospital has been tremendously improved. Most of the dilapidated wings have been done over and new equipment installed. There is a new maternity block, which is soon to be fitted with an elevator. There is also a new paediatric ward, a psychiatric ward and a new in-patient building.

Also for safer blood transfusion there is a new building which houses the National Blood Transfusion Service with new, modern equipment.

Soon to come on stream is the new Cancer Treatment Centre fully equipped to diagnose and treat certain aspects of this dreaded disease.

It is my view that these and other indicators are pointing to the fact that more Guyanese are enjoying a better living standard today than before 1992 with greater hope for the future.

It is quite clear that with the restoration of democracy on October 5, 1992, with free and fair elections the country has and will continue to make greater economic and social progress once our new democratic culture is preserved.

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