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Many people have indicated to me that they would like to learn more about my vision for Guyana as a Presidential candidate in 2025. I am delighted to share more on the vision. Our platform will be ‘Project: One People, One Nation and One Destiny’. The theme is: ‘Your Hope for a Sustainable Future and a Better Guyana’. Our Vision is: To realise the true potential of Guyana and the Guyanese people, together; and become the ‘Singapore of South America’.
Our Mission is: “To change the political, economic and social culture in Guyana. We will do this by building Strong Families; Strong Communities; Strong Citizenship; Strong Economy; Strong Bonds; with Strong Leadership”.
Our governance approach will give full effect to Article 13 of the Constitution which states that ‘The principal objective of the political system of the State is to establish an inclusionary democracy by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens, and their organisations in the management and decision-making processes of the state, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision-making that directly affect their well-being’.
The following are some of our approaches and initiatives which will give greater effect to that inclusionary democracy in practical ways. We will establish a Reconciliation Commission/Committee. Some of the individuals who I would like to see on that Commission are: Former President David Granger, Former President Donald Ramoutar, Clement Rohee, Indra Chandarpal, Major General (Rtd) Joseph Singh, Volda Lawrence, Eusi Kwayana; as well as representatives from the religious community, Civil society, some international experts, among others.
The rule of law is significant to our growth and sustainability. We will also establish a Constitutional Reform Commission/Committee early. A Constitutional Court as a critical component for resolving constitutional and other legal issues. One of the individuals I would like to see involved on this endeavour is Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan.
Additionally, we will develop the ‘Cheddi Jagan National Labour Policy’. We will invite representatives from agencies such as the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), and representatives from other relevant organisations, as well as key individual stakeholders. I am of the view both GTUC and GAWU, if they work together, along with others, can come up with a substantial policy document on the way forward for labour in Guyana.
Another important document would the ‘Forbes Burnham Community Development Policy’. This policy will reflect Forbes Burnham’s comprehensive approach to community development which was a sustainable development approach – economic, social and environment, to community development.
A ‘National Investment Commission’ will be established. This commission will management all investments, including those relative to the oil and gas and extractive industry. Some of the individuals who will be invited to be a part of this commission are Carl Greenidge and Christopher Ram, as well as representatives from the public, private and civil society sectors.
Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo will also be invited to be a part of this commission. I wish to state that it is highly inappropriate for the Vice President to be the investment commission, as is currently perceived to be the case. The current approach does not promote democratic principles such as, transparency and accountability.
Some aspects of the economic development policy and strategy will give consideration to Mr. Stanley’s promoted ‘Guyana 2030’ project. I am particularly interested in the infrastructural aspect of the ‘Guyana 2030’ project; however, the funding is a major concern. The aspect of the ‘Guyana 2030’ project on the housing development plan in the Parika area, fits well with our general housing component of the national development plan, as well as the President’s ‘baby’ project – ‘Silica City’ which is to be constructed on the Soesdyke Linden Highway. Nevertheless, I have some other ideas on how both Mr. Ming’s and the President’s Silica City projects can be enhanced in the national context. President Ali could also have the opportunity to be the Chairman of the ‘Silica City Management Board’.
The education component of our development programme is profound. The current ‘Guyana Online Academy Learning’ (GOAL) will be placed under the administration of the University of Guyana. It is important to note that, the sustainability of this programme is hinged to it being appropriately institutionalized. We will also invest heavily in the University of Guyana, and technical institutions such as, the Technical Institutes, Guyana Industrial Training Centre, Carnegie School of Home Economics, etc.
On the foreign policy side, it is my view that countries from both the West and East are important and strategic to Guyana’s development and growth. I have a preference for the ‘soft, smart’ diplomacy that Guyana has been practicing for decades. I am strong on regionalism and multilateralism, and it is my view that Guyana can be a strong leader nationally, regionally, and internationally.
Our political philosophy is democracy, but with a with a unique ‘Guyana Standard’. The ‘Guyana Standard’ of leadership or ‘Sustainable Leadership Behaviour’ is what I would refer to as ‘Goal 17’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs will not be sustainable, except world leaders exhibit governance behaviour that enables sustainability; and it is my desire for Guyana to be an example in this area. This will require a government that upholds the rule of law, is not corrupt, is transparent, accountable and understands and practices service to country and the people of Guyana.
Our national development policy will be built on and be measured both in the context of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Happiness (GNH). A policy on Gross National Happiness is critical for the wellbeing of citizens.
Hence, our leadership style which will to guide our behaviour at the central, regional, local and community levels is a ‘Strong Humble Leadership (SHL)’ style. This is a combination of ‘Transformational Leadership’ and ‘Servant Leadership’, this will also form a part of our Code of Conduct.