Guyana: Ramotar sworn in
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Economist Donald Ramotar was sworn in as Guyana’s seventh head of state on Saturday vowing to work tirelessly with all political stakeholders to improve the well being of all Guyanese nationals.
Ramotar, 61, took the oath of office on the lawns of the State House, succeeding Bharrat Jagdeo, who was barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term in office.
Ramotar, who will lead a minority government after the ruling People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), which has ruled this country for the past 19 years, won 32 seats in the 65-member National Assembly, said the “elections have reaffirmed our maturity as a democratic nation, something of which we should all be proud.
“I wish to therefore congratulate my Guyanese brothers and sisters from all walks of life, who participated in this latest renewal of our democracy, for playing their part in this vital national process! Regardless of the results we are all winners – Guyana and all the people of Guyana”.
According to the final results released by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), an amalgam of opposition parties that included the main opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) won 26 seats while the minority opposition the Alliance for Change ( AFC) took away the remaining seven seats, ensuring that the combined opposition will control the National Assembly for the first time in Guyana’s history.
Ramotar described his election as a “most humbling experience” and that he felt “deeply honoured” to have been and assured the nation that he would work “tirelessly to improve the lot of all Guyanese.
“Now that the elections are over, it is time for all to cast aside our partisan cloaks and to put on national garb, signifying our willingness, commitment and readiness to work hand-in-hand, side by side as to consolidate and advance the gains that have been made over the years.
“As President of Guyana, I invite Guyanese from all of our political parties, all civic, religious and other groups in our country, to join me in furthering the economic, human, and social development of our country for the next five years.”
He said that because of the projected make-up of the parliament following these elections, “this is the only way forward” and that while he does not anticipate “that this process will be easy” he is prepared “ work beyond the difficulties to ensure that our country does not regress.
“ I do not envision that this process will be without its difficulties. There will be challenges, but we must be prepared to work tirelessly to ensure that we do not thwart the legitimate aspirations of our people for a higher standard of living in a prosperous and united Guyana.
“This new arrangement in our Parliament would no doubt test our maturity as political leaders. It will demand that pettiness be put aside and our nation’s well being should always be our most important guiding influence,” the new head of state said.
President Ramotar said that soon after the elections results were given on Thursday he met with the leaders of the parties in Parliament and “will continue these engagements as we continue the exciting task of creating opportunities for all our people and strengthening the bonds of friendship and togetherness.
“Despite our political differences, I believe that the various parties which have secured representation in our National Assembly can work together with all other stakeholders for the betterment of our country,” he said, praising the work of the PPP/C officials in ensuring that the party was victorious at the polls.
Ramotar said that the inauguration of a new President in any country is an opportunity for new beginnings, and renewed commitment to the continuing progress and development of a country.
“Let us all use this opportunity, each and every one of us from whatever, political, social or religious background we may belong, to work towards making the lives of each Guyanese better and the country as a whole a place we can be proud to call home.”
He has promised to name his cabinet by Monday, adding “this will not in any way predetermine or obstruct any possible political cooperation with the other parties.
“The management of the affairs of our country and continued development of this nation cannot be stalled. The people of Guyana would not want us to delay the development momentum.
“Fellow Guyanese, I pledge to use all the energy and influence of my Office, as President of Guyana, to work steadfastly towards the goal of making Guyana a better place for all with Peace and Unity as my guiding theme.
“I promise to be a fair and just President; to govern in the interests of all; to ensure that the legitimate aspirations of our people are respected; and the resources of this Great Land of Guyana benefit all of our people,” President Ramotar added. (CMC)