Above: Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo (Photo: GINA)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
After 12 years as Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo will not be seeking re-election, and gave his farewell speech yesterday.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve the people of this country, and to bear witness to the hard work and dedication of Guyanese from all walks of life, as you continue to create an ever-better Guyana,” he said.
Under Jagdeo’s tenure, the country has seen one of the fastest-growing economies in CARICOM — estimated by the World Bank at 4.6 percent for this year, higher than any CARICOM country but Haiti.
“Progress is a compact between government and the people,” he said. “And it is people who day in, day out forge the national character of our country.”
“Our country is still a work in progress,” he said. “Twelve years ago, many saw our opportunities as limited, because they saw us merely as a small Caribbean nation. Today, we seek to participate in the global stage. If we have the conviction and ambition to do this, Guyana has the potential to be one of the world’s most progressive and dynamic places.”
CARICOM observers have headed to Guyana to oversee’s Monday’s election, in which Donald Ramotar of Jagdeos’ PPP/C party will be running for the presidency, faced off against a series of candidates, including David Granger of A Partnership of National Unity and Khemraj Ramjattan of the Alliance for Change.
Jagdeo called for a peaceful electoral process — “a profound statement about the strength and maturity of our Guyanese democracy.”
The OAS also has a mission, led by former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and current UWI Mona Principal Gordon Shirley.
The US Embassy in Georgetown issued a travel advisory for US citizens in Guyana, citing previous election-related violence.