GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Dr. Irfaan Ali was on Sunday sworn in as the ninth President of Guyana promising a ‘government “that is accessible” and transparent and urging Guyanese to put aside their differences for the betterment of the country.
Ali, 40, took the Oath of Office at the Arthur Chung Conference Center before acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, less than three hours after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) declared him the winner of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.
GECOM also declared that the main opposition People’s Progressive Party /Civic (PPP/C) had won the most seats -32 in the 65-member Parliament, with the outgoing coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) receiving 31 seats and the other political parties, one seat, under Guyana’s proportional representation electoral system.
Ali, promised Guyana that his administration would not “disappoint you” and thanked the population “sincerely for your confidence and your trust but you will know that in voting for the PPP you’ve elected a Government to serve all the people of Guyana and that is what we will be doing.
“We are in this together, we are not separated,” he said, adding that he was now looking forward to a smooth transmission from the David Granger administration.
Ali said he intends to name his Cabinet as soon as possible so that the work of the new government can begin almost immediately.
“You will have a government that is accessible and one that will be more than willing to share with you information as we work on building our Guyana in the interest of all,” he said.
Senior PPP/C officials,, including former president Bhrrat Jagdeo, who was named Vice-President, Gail Teixeria, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Anil Nandlall, the Attorney general and Mark Phillips as the Prime Minister, were also in attendance at the simple ceremony.
Ali said that outgoing president Granger had been invited but stayed away.
Heads of the Gyyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Fire Service as well as several heads of overseas missions attended the event.
Ali, a former housing minister in the last PPP/C administration, is married to Arya Ali and is the father of one son.
He also faces legal challenges arising out of his tenure as a minister of housing.