Photo above: PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 21, (CMC) – The main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), today, said, that the results of the Local Government Elections (LGE) held, last Friday, should be regarded as a referendum on the performance of the coalition government of President David Granger.
Preliminary results showed that both the nine-month old coalition, comprising A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) and the PPP held on to their bases.
PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee, speaking at a news conference here, said, that the PPP, which had ruled Guyana for the past 23 years, was claiming victory in the first LGE held here since 1994.
He said also, that the coalition had failed to make any inroads in the Berbice area noting, that since the new government came to office in May last year, farmers and the farming community have been treated badly.
He added, the results from those areas showcase the frustration of the residents.
“It exposes the hypocrisy of wanting Berbice to be the food basket, but on the other hand, doing so poorly in respect to the support to the farming community. But that is because of the way they treat the farmers, the rice farmers and the sugar workers. So the chickens are now coming home to roast, not to roost,” Rohee said.
Another PPP Senior Official, Ganga Persaud, who also spoke at the news conference, said, the local elections cannot, and ought not be, compared to the general elections because for the local elections, “there are 71 different elections as against the general and the regional”.
“If you are going to analyse local government elections and the showing of political parties or groups, that has to be done, based on the understanding that these elections are separate, there are 71 different elections”, he told reporters.
Persaud, a former local government minister, noted, that in the general elections, the voter turnout was over 70 per cent, while for the just-concluded local government elections, the turnout was below 40 per cent.
Rohee said, the party is still to make a determination about whether the elections could really be considered free and fair. He said the party has to await information from its polling agents.
President Granger said, that the elections were in no way a victory for any party or group, but a victory for the people.
“The local government elections were not only the duty of the government but were a victory for democracy and an opportunity for its exclusionary governance,” he said, adding, that the polls signalled a return to constitutionality after a lapse of nearly two decades under the previous administration.
“The coalition struggled on the street, in the regions and in the National Assembly for the restoration of local democracy. We are happy to have achieved this democratic objective in less than 10 months after entering office,” he told reporters last weekend.