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Articles by Premier of British Guiana (1961-1964)


(Victory Message by Dr. Cheddi Jagan after the PPP won the General Elections on August 21, 1961. It was published in the August 26, 1961 edition of "Thunder")

1961 election victory parade
1961 election victory parade

The General Election is over and the people of British Guiana have given our Party on overwhelming vote of confidence. They have accepted my invitation extended to them in my last pre-election broadcast and have ranged themselves beside me. In this way, they have given me the strength and authority to move forward on the course I have already charted.

We are ready to take up the burdens of office and fulfil the tasks which we began in 1957. Then, we had to work with limited power in the context of a restricted financial programme. Even so, we have achieved a great deal. Now, with wider powers and the opportunity to seek and obtain more adequate financial aid and to expand our trade on more advantageous terms, we shall resolutely press on with the work we have put in hand and expand our projects to include new and hitherto unworked fields, until with the attainment of independence we earn the right to be masters of our destiny.

Guianese have shown once again that they will not bow before threats from more powerful lands. They have shown also that idle promises of plenty for nothing cannot undermine their loyalty to our Party. Our people have thus shown themselves to be resolute, brave and thoughtful; indeed, such a people as anyone may be proud to lead, and I am happy to pay my homage to them now  - all of them.

I have never promised our people more than the opportunity to work and the right to the full fruits of their labour with equal justice and freedom for all. In the new period we have just entered, there will be plenty of opportunity for hard work and we shall take such steps as are necessary to implement the rights and freedoms which have been written into our Constitution.

The good life is just beginning.

From this day forward we shall need the good-will and hard work of all our people so that we may proceed to make our country a fit and proper home for heroes in the struggle for political and economic independence. Let there be an end to sectional racial quarrels and suspicions so that national unity may
be restored.

There is work ahead. Let us get on with it.

Copyright © Nadira Jagan-Brancier 2000


Forward in Unity

Message from Guiana’s First Premier, Dr. Cheddi Jagan -
(Sunday Broadcast - August 27, 1961 - after winning the August 21, 1961 General Elections)

1961 election victory parade
1961 election victory parade

I speak today to thank my friends and helpers for the support and loyalty, the hard work and the courage, which has made it possible for our Party to win the General Elections.

I regard the final result as a vote of confidence in me and in my Party. While I am proud and happy to accept the mandate, which you have given, yet it places on my shoulders a heavy burden. I pray that I may find strength and courage to carry it.

For our country has many problems; and as I think of what lies ahead, what is to come, I am keenly conscious that I cannot face the task alone. It is not just my battle, it is our battle. And when I say our, I mean all Guianese so that I speak now not only to PPP supporters, but to all people here who have our country’s good at heart.

During the bitter pre-Election fight, we have seen a split on racial lines. No greater disaster could have befallen us. Little good can now be done by allocating the blame for this. What is needed is to heal the breach.

The hard fact is that incidents involving violence between peoples of different races continue to occur although the Election fight is passed. These incidents are isolated. Nevertheless, they are symptomatic.

And so my first message to you today is this. Let us all forget the bitterness of race. Let Guianese unite in the great fight for Independence and for happiness, which now lies ahead.

Never Discriminate

I give my solemn pledge that my Government will never discriminate against any person or persons on the ground of race, religion or political creed, that the essential freedoms will be preserved and we will respect the rights of all.

Our Party has always been and will always be, a multi-racial Party. Within it there is room for all. Its leaders come from every racial group. I call upon the Guianese of every race and every creed to rally now behind us.

Way Clear

Our plans are laid, our way is clear; all we need is a common purpose. Our first task is, of course, to free our country. The promise of Independence must be made a reality – not in two year’s time – or one year’s time – NOW. In this task, I ask the help of all members of the Opposition.

Here is an aim on which both my Party and the PNC are agreed. Let us lay the ground work for joint effort in the future by beginning here.

First Step

The Chinese say that even a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. We must heal the wound of racial prejudice. This is a giant task, but we start with this single step – cooperation on the issue of independence now. This after all, is a task of such importance as to place it in a sphere above all Party politics.

From there, perhaps we may move on to further cooperative effort in the battle to increase our People’s wealth and happiness. Efforts which will lead us step by step until we reach thee good life of which we have all dreamt.


I and my Party will play our part. For the rest, we must rely on the patriotism and the good sense of those who form the Opposition, in the hope that all will help to allay the ugly threat of inter racial hatred which now hangs on the land.

Let us hope that wise counsel will prevail.

Copyright © Nadira Jagan-Brancier 2000