The Bartica Independent Green Alliance (BIGA) “is here to stay.” This is according to Chairman of the Group Holbert Knight.
BIGA has been registered with the Guyana Elections Commission to contest all nine constituencies within the municipality of Bartica, in both the First-Past-the-Post and Proportional Representation (PR) aspects of the elections. Speaking with Guyana Times, Knight explained that the group is not affiliated with any of the major political parties. “In actuality, ours is not a party in the traditional meaning of ‘party’ in Guyana… meaning we do not intend to graduate to Regional and National Elections status. But in fact, we are a Local Government Elections group, comprised of residents from a wide cross-section of Bartica and completely independent from affiliation to any political party,” the Chairman explained.
It was disclosed that the group has formulated a strategy dubbed “the People’s Plan” which has been compiled to effectively inaugurate development of the municipality. “Naturally, our first concern would be getting elected into office where we can be effective in executing the people’s plan for development. We call it the “People’s Plan” because our manifesto was compiled with input from President Granger’s Green Initiative for Bartica, along with the group’s vision and also ideas from residents which were gathered through wide public consultations. We are confident in the Government to honour its promises and obligations to the community if we are elected. Once that happens, our concerns will be minimal,” the BIGA members related to this publication.
Knight explained that currently, the Alliance’s main focus is to create a partnership with central government and the residents of Bartica to implement the President’s Green Plan for the town. The Chairman further related that they are also examining the areas of human services, social development, education and culture and sport so as improve these sectors.
“The needs of this town, which has been in dire neglect for a long time, are many and varied. In order to truly function as a municipality should, we would require staunch improvements in infrastructure; also improved public offices, public utilities especially electricity, water and Internet bandwidth; and sport and recreational facilities,” Knight posited.
He further promised that if BIGA is elected, every administrative constituency within the jurisdiction of the town of Bartica will be represented by a qualified and capable resident who knows, by association, the concerns of their area. “Because we are a part of them, our people will be a part of our administration. We will implement the purest form of local democratic government in our town to bring about the changes and development that we rightly deserve and have waited so long for,” the group Chairman stated.
He related that response from the public has been very encouraging since December 2015 when the Alliance began its outreach. “We started our outreach activities in December of last year, and the responses from our voters and all other residents have been overwhelming, to say the least. The people of Bartica are intrigued at the idea of a group that is independent from party politics and inclined unto the people. And that is why persons are still coming forward and asking how they can be part of what is unfolding on the ground here. We are quite sure that between now and election day, many more will join our ranks,” the Chairman declared.
He urged residents of those constituencies in Bartica to vote for the Alliance, adding that BIGA presents itself to the people of Bartica as a truly independent LGE group. “Though we are intent of working with the Government’s programme for Bartica, our first and strongest allegiance is to the people… and not to any political party. We are all of Bartica, for Bartica. We are confident in the vote of the people of Bartica, because the people are recognising that, finally, their representatives will be their neighbours, family and friends,” he affirmed.