Resolve to confront forces of crime, violence
-- PPP urges
Guyana Chronicle
October 6, 2002

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THE People's Progressive Party (PPP) has said that as Guyanese at this juncture "reflect on our achievements as a nation, we must resolve to confront the forces of crime and violence so as to ensure the pace of progress continues in our beautiful land."

The appeal came in a statement yesterday, marking 10 years since the October 5, 1992 election of the PPP/Civic to government.

"It is common knowledge that democracy was restored in October, 1992, after some 28 years of dictatorial PNC minority rule", the PPP said, adding that those were indeed difficult years.

"Citizens who lived through the seventies and the eighties can attest to the extreme hardship the Guyanese people were subjected to at the hands of an uncaring regime whose main preoccupation was to perpetuate itself in office by any means at its disposal", it said.

The PNC cannot escape blame for the impoverishment of the Guyanese people, the PPP charged.

"Because of the fact that it never attained office on the basis of free and fair elections, it did not feel compelled to govern in the best interest of the nation", it said.

According to the PPP, it is important "that we reflect on the turbulent years of dictatorial rule which saw the country deteriorate from a prosperous country in the 1960's to the second poorest in the western hemisphere."

"Not only were the masses reeling under the crushing burden of woes, but the country was declared uncreditworthy by the International Monetary Fund and therefore ineligible for financial assistance.

"Indeed, the biggest reversal of Guyana's economic, social and political gains took place under the Hoyte years. Statistics show that the decline in education standards (as evidenced in local and overseas examination passes) took place under the administration of Desmond Hoyte.

"The Housing Ministry was also scrapped by the PNC. Sugar, rice and bauxite production, (key pillars of the economy and the largest sources of foreign exchange earnings) recorded their lowest production levels during the years of the former regime", it said.

The PPP said all of that changed dramatically with the election to office of the PPP/Civic, which successfully managed to overhaul the physical and social infrastructure of the country.

The PPP/Civic reversed the economic and social decline that characterised the greater part of the pre-1992 rule and a sense of hope and dignity was once again restored to the Guyanese people, the statement said.

The lofty principles of democracy, transparency, good governance, equality, racial harmony, inclusive governance, alliances with all democratic forces, friendly foreign policy, all adumbrated by Cheddi Jagan, continue to guide the PPP/C Government, it added.

The PPP/Civic, and indeed the entire people of Guyana have every reason to be proud of the enormous progress the country has made over the past decade, despite attempts by the PNC and its agents to disrupt the development programme of the country, according to the statement.

"The PPP/Civic has delivered to the people of Guyana one decade of solid, sustained growth and development. It has also consolidated and deepened democracy and practised good governance, which under the PNC never happened", it said.

"The achievements of the PPP/Civic government are second to none. These areas include the following:

* Social Services, particularly health, housing and education

* Poverty alleviation programmes

* Infrastructure rehabilitation

* Expansion of rural electrification

* Investment incentives

* Land distribution programme

* Pro-labour legislation

* Economic progress and stability

* Water service".

The PPP/C expressed gratitude to the Guyanese people "for the confidence reposed in the party which resulted in three successive electoral victories; and to friendly governments and institutions for the invaluable role they played in the protection and consolidation of the many democratic gains scored by the party on behalf of the Guyanese people."

"At this juncture, as we reflect on our achievements as a nation, we must resolve to confront the forces of crime and violence so as to ensure the pace of progress continues in our beautiful land", the statement said.