As the people of Guyana prepare to celebrate their forty-ninth independence anniversary on May 26, 2015 they also prepare for a new leadership of a coalition government in their political history.
“The slave rebellions in 1763 and 1823 were seminal moments in the nation’s history. Blacks came to Guyana as slaves; on the other hand, East Indians came as indentured labourers who worked in order to provide for their families back home. Guyana’s recent history is characterized in particular by the struggle to free itself from colonial rule, and from the lingering effects of colonialism. On May 26, 1966, Guyana gained independence from Britain,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Guyana.
Many Guyanese only know their country being politically led by a party marked by continued racial unrest between Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese as well as economic depression. For the past twenty-one years, the people have had no elections. They have tolerated shortages of food, a high unemployment rate, and a lack of affordable housing. The government was approaching the IMF with a strategy for maintaining fiscal and debt sustainability and upon receipt of much needed funds, so that the people of Guyana would see economic improvement. Nothing happened.
Like many of the Caribbean nations, Guyana’s economy is affected by the rising cost of oil as it relies heavily on imports for its oil consumption. Necessary products that use oil in its preparation are so expensive that the average Guyanese can ill afford them and either do without a particular item or purchase the product while doing without something else.
When elections were called in late 2014, the people were introduced to a new party, APNU+AFC, a coalition of – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC). Comprising several political organizations, this new party signed a Manifesto promising “to lead the majority of citizens who struggle daily against disunity and against a dictatorial government and who seek a good life in this, the land of their birth.”
Whatever the APNU+AFC said resonated strongly with the people and they decided to give them a majority vote to lead Guyana into their 50th year of independence. Since its formation, the APNU+AFC alliance has received praise from a larger portion of Guyana’s population, which sees the party as a step in the right direction.
This government received a vote of confidence to implement the change that the people have waiting on for quite some time.
How successful will Guyana’s economic and social development become in the next 5 years?
What policies would you advocate for the progressive improvement of any community in Guyana?