GEORGETOWN: President David Granger urged politicians and other citizens to put past rivalries behind them and “work in unity to banish poverty, ignorance, fear and hatred” at his swearing-in ceremony last Saturday.
Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh administered the oath to Granger at Parliament buildings, following the official declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission that the coalition of A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), which he led, won last Monday’s elections with 207,200 votes. The incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) got 202,694 votes.
The ceremony drew a large crowd, which converged on the outer fence of the compound.
“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.
“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,” said Granger, a former army general.
Granger extended a hand of friendship to his predecessor, Donald Ramotar and his PPP/C administration as he called on them to work together.
“Inclusionary democracy is the best way to overcome our divisions,” said the new president.
The call for unity was a common theme in the congratulatory messages extended to President Granger following the ceremony.
The United States Embassy in Georgetown expressed the hope that he would work to repair the divisions in Guyanese society that emerged during the election period.
“The United States of America pledges its willingness to work collaboratively with the new government in this regard,” it said in a statement.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter also extended congratulations to Granger.
“I have great expectations that the new government will reach out and promote healing and reconciliation in Guyana. It is now time for all Guyanese to unite and work together to realize the great potential of their country,” he said in a statement issued via the Carter Centre, which sent a mission to monitor the elections.
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) described the swearing in of the nation’s eighth executive president as historic.
“The Commission lauds the new president for a well fought campaign which focused on uniting the people of Guyana, and for the promise of an inclusionary government which ensures that the needs of all the people are met,” it said.
Other parties contesting the election, including The United Force (TUF) and the United Republican Party (URP) also offered congratulations.
Granger will be formally inaugurated at a ceremony at the National Stadium on Tuesday, May 26, the country’s 49th anniversary of independence.
He has designated Moses Nagamootoo as prime minister.