Celebrating democracy isn't a partisan affair
--- President Jagdeo
Guyana Chronicle
October 8, 2003

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"As we celebrate tonight we must also remember the lesson of democracy and our history and remember that what we are celebrating here is not just a partisan affair because democracy is important to every single citizen in the country. It is about our dignity and who we are. There was one time when people did not have the right to chose a Government of their choice and if you do not have that it means that you do not have a say in the running of your country. It is dehumanizing in a way when someone takes away your right of choice, as they are taking away an important part of who you are and what you stand for and that is what we are celebrating here - returning that freedom to our country, lifting the burden from the backs of our people and removing the dehumanizing past and of course looking into the future.

President Bharrat Jagdeo made this declaration while addressing thousands at State House Sunday to observe the PPP/Civic's 11th year of election to office.

The PPP/C's accession to Government has ensured every Guyanese the freedom to exercise their constitutional rights in their homeland, President Jagdeo said.

This freedom, which came after intense struggle, was restored 11 years ago with the return of the People's Progressive Party/Civic to Government through the polls.

As part of the PPP/C's 11th anniversary since acceding to Office in 1992, a grand celebration was mounted at the President's official residence, the State House.

The packed event featured games, art and craft and food stalls, and saw participation from a wide cross-section of Guyanese. Among the displays were a variety of hats, plants and cultural jewellery. The children were also treated to various designs of hand paintings, as well as educational items from the Government Information Agency's booth.

Touring the grounds of the celebration, President Bharrat Jagdeo interacted with the thousands of Guyanese who turned out to the event.

"In Guyana, we are trying to develop at the political level a new political culture so that if there are differences there must be mechanisms to deal with these," the President said. The Head of State cautioned Guyanese not to foster the idea that Guyana would be problem-free, as in most democracies of the world there are problems.

"There would always be problems in countries like ours. We are an extremely poor country. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go," he said, adding that if we remain focused and keep our primary objective in mind, that is, improving the lives of all in a non-partisan way, success will definitely come. "Because if we do it in a partisan way then we do the same thing that we accused our predecessors of doing.

"We have to make sure that we manage this country in the interest of all of our people regardless of political affiliation, regardless of religion, regardless of race and the party that I believe in, and the Government that I lead, will always do that because we recognize that this is the only true path to development in this country."