There must be change for the better in 2004 - Corbin
January 1, 2004
PNCR Leader Robert Corbin is appealing for change in 2004, after a year of crime and insecurity.
"Unless there is a change for the better in our country, we will not only suffer but we shall surely die. The motto for the New Year must therefore be change. Change is in your interest. Your family's interest and the nation's interest," Corbin said in his New Year's message.
He said that last year began on the brink of social disintegration and economic collapse and was characterised by crime; increased unemployment; economic decline; an absence of foreign investment; a high cost of living and more poverty; and irresponsible governance.
Corbin said the quality of governance continued to decline and the promised enhancement of Parliament did not materialise. In fact, he said the cavalier treatment of Parliament, the lack of consultation and lack of stakeholder participation in important state matters indicate that no progress was made in the area of inclusive governance.
He said the PNCR did try to put Guyana first "[although] the tools available to us as an Opposition Party in a winner-take-all system... were not many."
Corbin said the PNCR entered the constructive engagement process in good faith. But he said there was an unwillingness to implement decisions aimed at ensuring good governance.
He added that despite the many compromises he has made in the interest of workers and despite the removal of all obstacles, the Police, Teaching and Judicial service commissions have not been appointed, although the membership has been settled.
"The good people of the country must take up the challenge of change... We must pursue the avenues that are available to us under the law to exert every sinew, every energy, every action, in every community, village and town to create change: a change for the better."
In the New Year, he said, resolutions should be made for, among other things, good governance. This includes work with the social partners for genuine power sharing or inclusive governance.
He said resolutions should be made for the implementation of all the decisions agreed under the constructive engagement process; a proper functioning parliament and the many new committees established under the constitution; and to fight for transparency in government to monitor the use of debt relief money which should be applied only to poverty relief- projects.