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Fellow Guyanese, tonight as Guyanese across the country and in the Diaspora welcome the new year I wish everyone a healthy, safe and happy 2021. This is always a hopeful time as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another; and while 2020 was difficult for us as Guyanese, we must also look back on this year with the knowledge that, with the APNU+AFC Coalition, brighter days are ahead of us.
Although the challenges for 2021 will be great, I am confident that each of us has the resilience and determination to rise up and meet them. It is that spirit that has allowed us as Guyanese to prevail over difficult times and it is that spirit that will allow us to overcome challenges.
As we say goodbye to 2020 let us also bid farewell to rancor, divisiveness and uncertainty that, as a nation, can keep us back. 2021 is upon us and we have the opportunity to unite as a country and move forward together, or sink further into an abyss of parochialism.
We are aware that a new administration was installed during 2020. This change followed five years of purposeful planning and governmental performance in people-centered development. The Coalition administration is proud of its achievements during its tenure of office from 2015-2020.
Following that transition, I was given the honor of being the Leader of the Opposition. I am humbled by that honor and feel especially privileged by the opportunity to serve you.
To members and supporters of the APNU+AFC Coalition and all Guyanese, I promise to represent your interests and aspiration, and to continue the relentless struggle for justice, fairness, true democratic governance and change. In fact, as Opposition Leader it is my duty to ensure that all Guyanese, regardless of what your political beliefs may be, that you are happy, free from fear, free from poverty, that your human and Constitutional rights are respected and that you have the opportunity to enjoy the Good Life in Guyana.
My duty is also to ensure that no one is allowed to take advantage of you, the ordinary Guyanese man and woman for personal gain. I will do that job. It is unacceptable that any administration completely ignores significant portions of our population and their political representatives while pursuing narrow political and other interests in government and pandering to friends and families whose primary interest is in making money above the health, welfare, security and safety of the majority of our people.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world has not spared Guyana, it has unleashed untold suffering on all of us. The disease does not care about gender, race, religion, political beliefs or whether you are rich or poor. We would all agree that the virus took its toll on everyone. Some have lost loved ones and many are in hospitals and other areas designated as quarantine facilities. To them all we offer our prayers as we continue to battle this gravest health challenge for more than 100 years,
The APNU+AFC will continue to support all measures aimed at curbing this pandemic.
The climate crisis will continue to affect us all. Our adoption of practical measures to ensure climate adaptation must remain a central component of the nation’s future endeavours.
Working together with the Administration to guarantee our National Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity is protected against a spurious claim by Venezuela will be a priority for us this year. Equally important will be our close scrutiny of our National Patrimony to ensure that it is not raped and pillaged by unscrupulous hands.
As we begin a new year, a fresh chapter in our lives, I trust that 2021 brings better prospects and opportunities to each and every one of us. That we reject division and embrace unity. That we dismiss separateness and realize that only Social Cohesion and togetherness can guarantee development at the personal, community and national levels.
I urge all peoples of our beautiful and diverse country to respect each other, love each other. I extend best wishes to every Guyanese for a happy, safe and prosperous 2021. A year of changed circumstances for us Guyanese.
May God bless Guyana.