Each election season, politicians make grandiose promises to the nation’s youths — a group that makes up more than 60 percent of the population. But when the dust settles, commitments to improve the lives of youths and their participation in government quickly fades to nothingness, says Dr. David Hinds.

Speaking with the Guyana Standard on this matter recently, Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds opined that politicians need to stop using youths as “window dressing for their manifestos.”

During an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard, the political activist said, “I know there are some who say that the APNU+AFC administration has failed Guyana’s youths given its promises on the election campaign. But I don’t agree with this. I would say however that it did not live up to its promises.”

The columnist added, “I think one has to be cognizant of the fact that youth and women have issues that are particular to them and so any government that comes would have to address the issues that are particular to the youth population. So I am talking here not just about poor representation in the National Assembly which the government has a poor record on, but also in addressing issues affecting them and the youth have to see movement on this front.”

Further to this, Dr. Hinds said that the WPA, which is part of the APNU faction, intends to show that it is committed to putting youth on the frontline. Just yesterday, President David Granger confirmed Tabitha Sarabo-Halley as Public Service Minister. That post was previously held by Dr.Rupert Roopnaraine. The WPA member was compelled to resign due to his dual citizenship status.

Dr. Hinds said, “Tabitha was recommended by the WPA and the party has shown that it intends to go in the direction of youth empowerment…This is a commitment of the party in addressing the burning issues affecting young people such as unemployment, healthcare, and so forth. We need an education policy and an economic policy that priorities the opinions of our youth.”

The WPA Executive Member continued, “The WPA is just one party in the coalition and it has only one representative in government. If we had three or more spots we would have argued very strongly for them to be occupied by young people. But we will have to impress on our coalition partners that young people must be treated not as window dressing for election manifestos but that they are central to the thinking of the government.”

He added, “We have a requirement by law for women to make up 30 percent of the slate of the contesting party and I would like to see parties being required to have 30 percent of their party slate being represented by youth. And when it is extracting representatives for parliament it should be reflected there too. That would be a good and meaningful start.”



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