David Granger sworn in as new President
David Granger, the opposition leader who won the general election last week was sworn in as the new President of the Republic on Saturday. There will be a further formal swearing in ceremony for the whole parliament on 26th May.
The full inaugural speech by the new President as published on the Government Information Agency (GINA) website is as follows:
“Address by Brigadier David Granger President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, at the Swearing-in Ceremony, Georgetown, on 16th May 2015.
It is written: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” We have come together at the National Assembly of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana as a mark of respect for the Parliament, for our Constitution and for the People of this great country, Guyana.
We have good reason to rejoice. We rejoice not only in the favourable results, but also in the enjoyment of our democracy. We went into the general and regional elections on 11th May 205 as a grand Coalition, comprising six parties – the Alliance For Change; Guyana Action Party; Justice For All Party; National Front Alliance; People’s National Congress Reform and Working People’s Alliance – and won the support of the majority of people.
We therefore record our gratitude, first, to the more than 408,000 citizens who participated in this important democratic process last Monday. We thank, also, the thousands of observers, officers, officials, agents and other workers – from overseas and from Guyana – and representatives of foreign missions who worked to ensure that the elections were conducted in a manner than satisfied international standards for efficiency and credibility.
We congratulate the successful candidates of all parties who will soon be selected to become members of the 11th Parliament and encourage them to be faithful to their oath of office and to their constituents.
The elections are over. The Guyanese people have chosen their representatives. The Constitution has been respected. Our democracy has been fortified. Let us now put past rivalries behind us and work in unity to banish poverty, ignorance, fear and hatred. We assemble here today to witness the swearing in, not of a party leader, but of the President of all the people. I shall be a good President for all the people.
We the Guyanese people have chosen to inaugurate a ‘government of national unity’ and to promote our multi-party, inclusionary partnership. We are convinced that this is the best way to overcome our historic divisions.
We have witnessed the damage done to our beautiful country over the past twenty-three years. We have been mocked by the destruction of local democracy and the denial of local government elections. We have been treated with contempt by the dictatorial prorogation and dissolution of Parliament. We have had to bear the brunt of the high rate of crime including armed robberies, arson, inter-personal violence, murder, piracy, rapes, road fatalities and trafficking in persons. We have had to bear the cost of the squandering of state resources on exorbitant but misconceived mega-projects. We have suffered most from the high cost of living and the high level of unemployment.
We have not been filled with hatred by these conditions. We are, indeed, more determined than ever to refashion society into one in which our womenfolk can look forward to working for ‘living wages’ to cope with the cost of living; one in which old folk can enjoy adequate pensions and social protection. Our young people will be able to attain higher educational standards and look forward to finding satisfactory jobs when they leave school. Our women and girl children can look forward to living in safety and to being protected from abuse and violent crime.
We the Guyanese people have seized the opportunity to vote for human safety, national unity and inclusionary democracy.
We now look to the future. We invite you to attend the formal, official “Inauguration Ceremony” to be held at the National Stadium on 26th May; Independence Day.
We also wish to inform you that the outgoing and incoming administrations, respectively, have agreed to establish a ‘Transition Team’ to facilitate the transfer of assets and the transmission of information needed to ensure the continuity of government and to guarantee the stability and security of the state. Lt Col Joseph Harmon has been appointed the new administration’s team leader to manage this process. We announce also, that Mr Moses Nagamootoo will be appointed the next Prime Minister as soon as he is sworn in as a Member of Parliament in accordance with the Constitution.
We declared on 1st January this year, that 2015 would be the “Year of Democratic Renewal.” We were right. Let us therefore rejoice in the people’s choice. Let us embrace each other – regardless of religion, race, class, occupation – as fellow Guyanese. Let us work together, to realise our inspiring national motto: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.” Let us be reminded of the famous national song:
Let us co-operate for Guyana, Let us co-operate for our land,
Let us resolve to fight together, See we do it right together
Can we do it? Yes we can.
May God bless Guyana!”