Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon

Director-General in the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, says when the APNU+AFC political party releases its manifesto, it will focus on the “Decade of development”, looking to build on the path of development that is already in place.
First coined earlier this year by President David Granger, the APNU+AFC government has signalled that the forthcoming decade will be a “Decade of Development” for all Guyanese, particularly with the looming oil and gas industry. Harmon said the APNU+AFC manifesto will not be an ambiguous one.

“We are going to see a plan that is located within a bigger plan. Clear thoughts, clear plans, clear pathway for action. It’s not just a one-year, or a five-year plan, but one that will be part of the wider development of Guyana that people can buy into from now. You will see that and you will see clear original thinking and not just somebody tinkering with this and tinkering with that,” Harmon related, as he fielded questions at the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) weekly press briefing last Friday.

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The PNC/R is the largest party of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) faction of the government. With Guyana already on a path to development, Harmon said the party’s focus is to build on that. “There are several things there in our manifesto that is actually being done. Our manifesto will, to some extent, be a continuation of these programmes that we are doing. With the manifestations of how we see Guyana developing in the next decade, a manifestation of how our Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) will affect the way in which governance takes place,” Harmon said.

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“If you look at some of the renderings out there, you will find some elements of our thinking of our manifesto coming through. The written work is going on, but conceptually we have some ideas already, more than ideas, on what we propose to do, and this basically looks at a whole decade of how we are going to move Guyana for the period covered by our GSDS. ”

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In politics, a manifesto is a publication issued by a political party before a General Election. It contains the set of policies that the party stands for and would wish to implement if elected to govern. Each political party is expected to present one in the lead up to general elections. With Guyana set for general and regional elections on March 2, 2020, the contesting parties are busy presenting or completing their manifestos.
Guyana so far has some eight political parties that have indicated their intentions to contest the upcoming elections, six of which were launched this year alone. The new parties hope to challenge Guyana’s longstanding, and biggest political parties, the APNU+AFC and the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).

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Harmon explained that the APNU+AFC manifesto can be expected after the finalization of the new Cummingsburg Accord between the two factions of the coalition. The Cummmingsburg accord is the document which brought the APNU and AFC together as a coalition since 2015.

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“The coalition manifesto is part of a four-stage process which we have engaged with the AFC. That process involves the acceptance and signing of core principles [that] will guide us in how we will conduct ourselves in the elections. The second stage is the agreements on the Cummingsburg Accord that will determine the composition of our elections team and so on. Third stage is the preparations of our manifesto, and the final stage is our campaign, launch of our campaign and so on,” he noted.

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The PPP/C released excerpts of their manifesto last Friday, with promises of the entire document being released in January 2020. Of the newer political parties, the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), led by former Toshao, Lenox Shuman has also released theirs.
The most recent party, established earlier this month, is The New Movement, backed by businessman Dr. Turhane Doerga , and has a woman, Dr. Asha Kissoon, as the presidential candidate. Other parties thus far indicating their plans to run include the Federal United Party (FED-UP), having controversial lawyer Ryan Crawford; A New and United Guyana (ANUG), led by former PPP executive, Ralph Ramkarran; and the Citizen’s Initiative, which is yet to select a presidential candidate and or executive.

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