PPP reiterates rejection of US democracy project

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) yesterday reiterated that it stood firmly with the government in its rejection of the US Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project and has expressed deep concern at the position taken by United States Ambassador Brent Hardt that it will proceed as planned.

Freedom House in a statement said that it is the “considered view of the PPP that the Project in its present form will not achieve its stated objective which is to build leadership capacity among stakeholders but apparently forms part of a much broader political agenda which could undermine the country’s fragile democracy.

“The PPP is hopeful that good sense will prevail on the part of the United States government and that the sovereign rights of the Government and people of Guyana to determine their own political future will be respected and not frowned upon as is currently the case.”

The party said it is at a loss to understand why a foreign power that lays claim to respect for democracy and self determination of sovereign states could so flagrantly disregard the opinion of another sovereign state and continue to persist with a Project that does not find favour with the Government of Guyana.

“The PPP stands firmly behind the Government of Guyana in its rejection of the LEAD Project and calls on the US Government through its Ambassador to end forthwith the continuation of the Project and re-engage the Guyana Government on the way forward.

 

“The PPP wishes to remind the US administration that Guyana has had a long and glorious struggle against foreign domination and dictatorial rule and can therefore do without being lectured on the elements of democracy and political leadership”, the statement said.

On April 24, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon met with United States Ambassador Hardt and expressed again government’s position on the contentious USAID-funded project and the Ambassador promised to communicate it to his government.

“The Head of the Presidential Secretariat conveyed the Government of Guyana’s perspectives on a path forward for continued cooperation,” the US Embassy responded when asked by Stabroek News for an update after the meeting.

“The Ambassador agreed to share those perspectives with USAID and the U.S. Department of State with a view to finding a mutually agreeable way forward that would support the interests of the people of Guyana in strong and vibrant democratic institutions, civic education in advance of local government elections, and broader civic engagement among women and young Guyanese,” the statement added.

Stabroek News was told that the Ambassador met with Luncheon to discuss the continuation of the decades-long collaboration between the United States and Guyana in the areas of democracy and governance.

“Since 2009, such collaboration has been conducted within the framework of the ‘Assistance Agreement between the United States of America and Guyana for Governing Justly and Democratically,’ which runs through September 2015,” the statement noted.

The two sides met just days after the Donald Ramotar administration said it would not discuss the project while it was being implemented.

Calling the decision to proceed with the project “provocative,” the administration had two weeks ago stated that there would be no further talks on the initiative unless it is suspended, with Luncheon saying the time had come for government to insist on its stance.

However, on Wednesday Luncheon informed that government would be meeting with Hardt at the Office of the President.

Hardt had met with government’s delegation—President Ramotar, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, and Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira—on March 27th last. However, Luncheon had explained that government became aware that the project was still being implemented, prompting the reiteration of its objections.

Hardt, when asked in February at a Rotary function if the programme was continuing, had said that it was. He explained that since it was a budgeted programme, contracts were already signed with employees and the contractor implementing it, the International Republican Institute (IRI), had specified project timelines. However, he echoed previous statements saying that he was open to talks with government at any time and that it was free to “get onboard” the project whenever it saw fit.

 

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: