Prickly US democracy project cleared

After being put on hold for months to facilitate discussions, the Guyana and United States governments today announced that the Leadership and Democracy Project (LEAD) has been finalized and will be implemented soon.

“The governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Guyana have reached final agreement on the design and implementation mechanisms of the USAID Leadership and Democracy Program,” US Charge d Affaires of Brian Hunt stated at the Office of the President today.

Hunt represented his country while Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon was Guyana’s representative.

Hunt said that despite modifications, the project’s fundamental objectives remain the same and stressed that it had been tweaked to involve more government participation.

“A large part of our effort was to ensure that the Government of Guyana’s viewpoint was reflected, that the government felt that government institutions were fully participating in the programme, ensuring that the government had – as is quite rightly the case- a significant and in some cases a leading role in making sure that the programme activities were working towards the benefit of Guyanese people,” Hunt noted.

Luncheon said government was relying more on the process that has been agreed to but would still keep its eyes open about the role of the International Republican Institute (IRI) in implementing the project on behalf of the financier, the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

He explained that changes made dealt with more content being added to the programme and fuller elaboration on the implementation process.

“Indeed, whilst one cannot dispense with those instances, one cannot dispense with those sentiments; certainly process, a fairly well-established process, contributes enormously towards allaying fears on the one side and concerns about the use of fear on the other side,” Luncheon said.

The row over the project had strained ties between the two countries and saw severe attacks by government officials on former US Ambassador Brent Hardt. At one point, Guyana cancelled the work permit for the IRI head of the project.

The first component of the $300M project endeavours to encourage consensus-building in the National Assembly and facilitate more effective interaction between the Assembly and citizens. It envisages cross party negotiation workshops, speaker evenings for members of parliament, workshops on issue-based policy development, and multi-party issue fora where all parties select a representative to speak about a topic of public interest.

The second component seeks to bolster the effectiveness of the National Assembly and broaden citizen engagement with parliament.

LEAD also seeks to support the establishment of a “Women’s Parliamentary Caucus” consisting of women from each of the parties represented in the Assembly. The caucus would offer a forum for the discussion of women’s issues in Guyana and a means to bring such issues to the Assembly in a collaborative way. There is also a proposed internship programme for three UG law students to provide research and drafting support to the National Assembly.

More in Local News

default placeholder

Power outage after excavator causes trees to fall at Ithaca

An excavator being operated by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) came into contact with trees within close proximity of GPL’s transmission and distribution system at Ithaca causing some trees to fall onto the Network.

default placeholder

Twenty communities identified for anti-crime measures under IDB programme

Twenty communities in five regions of the country and including large parts of the capital city have been identified for anti-crime measures under an IDB-funded programme.

Obina Hendricks

Man sought over drug trafficking at airport

Obina Hendricks ‘aka Hiney’ is wanted by the police for questioning in relation to ‘Trafficking in Narcotics’ on July 11, 2016, at the Eugene Correia International Airport, Ogle, the police say.

Carlton Chaitram, Tameshwar Jagmohan and Jairam Chaitram, 17, being escorted out of the Mibicuri Police Station.

Cops to charge trio over Black Bush murders

Police are preparing to charge a farmer, his teenaged son and an employee with last week’s  brutal Black Bush triple murder.

default placeholder

Over 100 passport applications received from NY weekly

Over 100 passport applications are being received from New York alone on a weekly basis and this has placed pressure on the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix says.

default placeholder

Granger defends hiring former army officers for civilian posts

President David Granger “sees nothing wrong” with the appointment of retired or serving military officers to civilian posts and maintains that the appointments are being made based on competence.

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: