CARICOM welcomes Granger
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has congratulated the newly elected President of Guyana David Granger on his coalition party’s victory at the polls.
In a letter to the president, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque acknowledged that Granger’s A Partnership of National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition had been given a mandate by the people of Guyana “to lead them towards greater prosperity and to further the development of the country”.
The secretary general assured the president that CARICOM and its secretariat stood ready to work with his administration in this task.
While underscoring the importance of Guyana to the 15-nation Community as an original signatory to the CARICOM Treaty and as its headquarters country, the Secretary General said he anticipated “the fresh ideas and views” that the new government would bring.
Granger, a former army brigadier, was sworn in as Guyana’s eighth president in a ceremony on Saturday at the National Assembly in Georgetown shortly after being officially declared winner of the elections held last Monday.
According to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Granger’s APNU/AFC coalition captured 207, 200 votes to break the over 22 year grip of the incumbent People’s Progressive Party/Civic, which garnered 202 694.
Thousands flocked to Georgetown’s parliament square to cheer on Granger, a 69-year-old Afro-Guyanese, who has vowed to crack down on corruption and govern for all citizens of this multi-racial CARICOM member state.
“I shall be a good president for all the people of Guyana,” Granger said after taking the oath of office for his five-year term.
Indo-Guyanese politician Moses Nagamootoo, who defected from the PPP, is tipped to be prime minister.
The full cabinet will be unveiled on May 26, when the former colony celebrates 49 years of independence from Britain. The coalition will have a one seat majority in the 65-seat legislature.
Former President Donald Ramotar, however, said he was “disappointed, hurt and aggrieved” by the outcome of the election, which was triggered by his suspension of parliament in November to avoid a no-confidence vote.
The veteran PPP politician has alleged the elections were rigged, though observers said they were generally free and fair.