Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
His Excellency Shahid themed his term in office a “presidency of hope” and focused on five priority themes – recovering from COVID-19, rebuilding sustainably, responding to the needs of the planet, respecting the rights of all, and revitalising the UN.
Shadid’s practical efforts to promote gender equality and youth development were notable hallmarks of his presidency as well as the attention he gave to the development challenges that many small, developing states are encountering.
The President’s visit comes at a time when significant sections of the Guyanese populace have been crying for inclusion in the political space, equitable participation in the country’s prosperity and respect for their human rights.
The political Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), which represents half of the society, continues to accuse the Government of discriminatory management of the state. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton and President Irfaan Ali have had no engagement as per Article 13 of the Constitution of Guyana which mandates “inclusionary democracy” in the management of the political system.
The APNU+AFC continues to bitterly complain of resource neglect in regions and communities where their supporters are in the majority. Complaints have been made about inequitable budgetary allocations and denial, neglect for infrastructural development in their strongholds, among other issues.
Sections of the trade union community continue to agitate for the respect of the right to collective bargaining which is protected in Article 147 of the Constitution. Namely, the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU), have been clamouring for engagement with the government, as the employer and/or arbiter, in collective bargaining consistent with Section 23(1) of the Trade Union Recognition Act.
The two-year-old Ali government is also accused of managing the political economy in a racist manner.
According to the government’s information, during Shahid’s two-day visit he will have engagements with President Ali and other Government Ministers. The release did not say if the APNU+AFC would be meeting the President of the General Assembly.