Streets barricaded around State House for Ramotar’s swearing in

Streets barricaded around State House for Ramotar’s swearing in

Demerara Waves – December 3, 2011

Anticipating protests by anti-government activists during the swearing in of Donald Ramotar as Guyana’s seventh Executive President, police Saturday morning barricaded streets around State House.

The event would be held at 1 PM (Guyana Time).

Having been declared President of Guyana’s first minority government in Monday’s General and Regional Elections, the 61-year old Ramotar would be sworn in at 1 PM on the lawns of State House.

There, tents and seating accommodation were put in place overnight for the University of Guyana-trained economist to be administered the Oath of Office by the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh.   


On the lawns of State House where Mr. Ramotar will be sworn in.

Well-placed sources say presidential candidate for the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger is unlikely to attend the swearing in ceremony.

APNU has been protesting the results of the elections and demanding an all-party reconciliation of Statements of Poll with those in the possession of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Chief Elections Officer, Gocool Boodhoo has rejected those calls, saying the declaration has been already made and any future course of action rests with the seven-member commission.

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) says the APNU “walks” through some city streets have been hurting businesses, many of them forced to shut their doors prematurely and send home staff.

PSC Chairman, Ramesh Dookhoo says initiatives are underway to persuade the opposition to tone down the protests. Western nations- United States, Britain and Canada-have urged Guyanese to accept the results and use the opportunity of a minority government to work across the political divide.

The PPPC won 32 seats in the 65-seat National Assembly with 48.6 percent; APNU with 26 seats and 40.8 percent and the Alliance of Change (AFC) got seven seats with .10.3 percent. The United Force did not get any seats in the 65 seat National Assembly.

Ramotar has signaled that he is willing to “work together” for Guyana but he has not gone beyond that, instead preferring not to confirm or deny that he would be picking his cabinet across party lines.

The governing Peoples Progressive Party’s (PPPC) hierarchy would most likely have to first meet and make those decisions.  Ramotar, Granger and the Alliance For Change’s Khemraj Ramjattan have already held preliminary talks. Insiders say APNU is already insisting on a government of national unity- one of its major election campaign planks.

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