10 Takeaways From Guyana’s Ninth President’s Inaugural Address

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Aug. 10, 2020: Guyana’s ninth President, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, was inaugurated officially on August 8, 2020 at a ceremony at the Guyana National Cultural Center. Here are some of the scenes from his inauguration along with 10 points of what he hopes to achieve based on his inaugural address to the nation:

1: President Ali said immediately, his government will tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by ramping up testing and creating a Covid Response Unit comprising Government policymakers, represented by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, and our regional and international partners such as CARICOM, PAHO, and UNDP . He also said his administration is working on securing immediately an initial sum of G$4.5 billion as emergency response to help nationals impacted at the household level.

Presidential motorcade enroute to the Inauguration Ceremony of the 9th Executive President of Guyana of His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Irfaan Ali at the National Cultural Centre (NCC)

2: The President has committed to preserving Guyana’s democracy and working in the best interest of all Guyanese regardless of race, political affiliation, or social and economic standing and to  establish a Youth Advisory Committee that will reflect our country’s rich religious and ethnic diversity.

Executive President of Guyana, His Excellency, Dr. Mohammad Irfaan Ali and First Lady, Her Excellency Arya Ali on stage at the National Cultural Centre at the inauguration event.

3: Ali made it clear that his government “will pursue the necessary reforms to make our democracy stronger and our electoral process more transparent.” The Head of State assured that “a review of events – related to the electoral process over the last five months – will begin shortly to determine, forensically, exactly what transpired, and to hold accountable any person who sought to pervert and corrupt the system.”

President of the Republic of Suriname, His Excellency, Chandrikapersad Santokhi and his wife at the Inauguration Ceremony for Guyana’s 9th Executive President.

4: The President said his government will “enhance parliamentary democracy, support an independent and efficient judiciary and ensure that the rule of law and the constitutional rights of every Guyanese are respected by all.”

9th Executive President of Guyana of His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Irfaan Ali inspects the Guard of Honour

5: He said the PP/C government “intends to raise up the [sugar] industry and to help it, and its workers resume the once proud place in our economy.” Ali also committed to restoring the once proud place of all the other industries, including rice and bauxite. He noted that the new Ministry of Labour that has been created will be tasked to create “nobility in work, of rewarding labour with adequate wages, and of respecting the rights of workers in every sector, every industry, every business.”

US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann lynch

6: He announced his government will be establishing a Petroleum Commission to ensure that the oil and gas sector is not subjected to undue political interference. “We will ensure that every cent of the revenues from the sector is accounted for, as well as every cent of it that is spent. There must be no doubt in the minds of our people that our country, our nation, our people are the beneficiaries of the oil and gas industry,” the Head of State said.

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee

7: He also announced plans to reduce the cost of energy by 50% for all Guyanese and businesses, through a mix of hydro, gas, solar, and wind, adding more than 400 megawatts of newly installed capacity over the next five years.

9th Executive President of Guyana of His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister Mark Phillips takes the Presidential salute

8: President Ali said high transportation cost will also be tackled through investments in a deep-water harbour, the Linden to Lethem Road, a high-span bridge across the Demerara River, and other transformational infrastructure projects.

Invited guests at the National Cultural Center (NCC) for the Inauguration Ceremony for Guyana’s 9th Executive President.

9: He pledged his government will  work in partnership with the private sector to make Guyana a centre for economic activity that will radiate throughout this Hemisphere and beyond and to scale up the provision of internet access across the country empowering businesses and persons. He also  promised training and retraining opportunities to help nationals take advantage of the opportunities provided especially by oil and gas.

Guyana’s 9th Executive President, His Excellency, Mohamed Irfaan Ali greets former Head of State, His Excellency, Donald Ramotar at the Inauguration ceremony.

10: The former tourism minister also vowed to create and expand tourism and other services industries.