The government’s bosses are demanding the ExxonMobil contract be placed in the public domain

Dear Editor,

This society must stop allowing elected officials to carry us for a ride.  Those who sit on the government and opposition benches in the National Assembly are elected by the people to conduct business on behalf of the people, and cannot be doing same based on gut feelings, personal perception, lies and deceit.  This oil and gas contract between the nation and ExxonMobil that the previous government and some in this government believe is personal and concerning which citizens should be kept in the dark, must not be allowed to go without being challenged.

There is so much evidence in the public domain, including the Petroleum Act, to show there is nothing that hinders the government from making public the contract which was signed with Exxon in 1999 on behalf of the people of Guyana.

Bharrat Jagdeo who today is calling for the contract to be made public had 12 years as Head of Government to do so, but treated the contract like personal property. David Granger today as President is doing likewise, though there is no law that prevents him from making this contract public. As President with executive responsibility Granger can make public the contract or issue a directive to his subject minister to do so. The rule of law and ethical practices must prevail in this country and in the management of the people’s business.

The behaviour of the political leaders gives the impression Guyana is a colony or they are up to some shenanigans with Exxon which necessitates keeping the contract under wraps. As the politicians at home become wedded to secrecy and contempt for the law, on the international scene Exxon shareholders are intensifying their calls for the company to be more transparent in its operations. The secrecy must stop and I add my voice to the call to make public the contract.

Ours is a representative democracy. Those sitting in office ‒ government and opposition ‒  are placed there to serve us, to represent and defend our interests, and are being paid by us to do so. Their bosses, we the people, are demanding the contract be placed in the public domain so we can peruse it and make informed responses.

Yours faithfully,

Lincoln Lewis

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