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Guyana Celebrates 49th Anniversary As A Republic

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says, in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index, that the cybercrime bill in Guyana that was passed into law in July 2018, "remains imperfect", and that "the members of the media regulatory authority are appointed directly by" President, David Granger (pictured), restricting "the freedom of certain media outlets, which are denied licenses".

Guyana Celebrates 49th Anniversary As A Republic

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 25, 2019 (CMC) – Guyana celebrated its 49th anniversary as a Republic, last Saturday, with President, David Granger, urging “national unity”.

“Let us work together to ensure that our country remains secure, our economy is stable and that everyone is safe and could enjoy a good life,” Granger said, as he delivered his fourth Republic Anniversary speech to the country.

“Everyone wins when the nation is united,” Granger said, noting that nationals were marking the occasion, which is a significant “fulfilment of our people’s aspirations to chart their own destiny, by re-fashioning their social and economic relations, introducing new national institutions, affirming sovereignty and advancing towards the goal of self-reliance”.

“The 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic will be celebrated, next year. All Guyanese are encouraged to prepare earnestly for this historic event, by intensifying our collective efforts towards national unity,” he added.

President Granger said he is confident that Guyanese “are also happy to live in a State that is committed to the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press and respect for fundamental human rights”, an apparent reference to the ongoing political situation in the country, where Granger’s coalition government has fallen, as a result of a vote of no confidence, tabled by the main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) last December.

The government has since appealed a High Court ruling that the motion, which received the support of a government backbencher, is valid, and that elections should be held, within 90 days of the motion being tabled and passed.

In his address, Granger said that tremendous inroads have been made to improve the lives of citizens, through public education, public health, public information, public infrastructure, public security, public telecommunications, social protection and improved access to public services, including water and electricity.

He said the next stage that nationals eagerly anticipate is the “transformational economic change, which will accrue from the green economy and emerging petroleum sector”, and will drive the country further and faster into a future of prosperity.

Meantime, Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, said that Guyana has overcome major setbacks and has now fully joined the community of nations that are free and democratic.

Guyana's Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo.

Guyana’s Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo.

“Our Guyana today, remains peaceful, stable and orderly, with a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population that is striving daily, to realise the goal of being one, united Guyanese people, as one nation with a common destiny.

“We cannot return to the past. We must continue along the road of change and transformation,” he said, adding that the country is on the cusp of realising its economic potential for unprecedented wealth, with the advent of its commercial production of oil next year.

In its message, the country’s opposition party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), said that the symbols of nationhood, such as the national flag and the Constitution, must be respected by all Guyanese.

“Mashramani is also a reminder of the fortitude and resilience of all of our people, who remained steadfast in their efforts to building our nation, so as to realise the future we all desire.

“Our party remains cognizant of, and commends the dedication and efforts of, all involved in the various activities held across the country. It is the party’s fervent hope that all will reflect on Guyana’s journey as a nation since attaining the status as a Republic, and continue to be imbued with patriotism and pride, as we celebrate the occasion of Mashramani 2019,” the PPP added.

Meanwhile, the United States says it recognizes Guyana’s systems of democracy and governance.

“As your government and the people of Guyana assess the future direction of your country, know that the United States recognizes and honors Guyana’s respect for the principles and integrity of democratic governance and institutions,” President, Donald Trump, wrote in a congratulatory letter to Granger.

While he made no reference to the political situation here, Trump singled out the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country’s role in the Western Hemisphere.

“Guyana is one of the United States’ most important partners in ensuring the Americas remain a zone of democracy, freedom, and security. We look forward to a continuing collaborative partnership going forward, supporting the security and economic interests of both our nations,” he wrote.

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