By Ravin Singh
It will be up to the diplomatic community to analyse the political developments in Guyana in determining whether this country will continue to benefit from loans and grants until elections are held.
This was according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during a press conference on Thursday at Public Building. Harmon’s statement was made in response to comments made by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, at a press conference last week.
Following a no-confidence vote against the government on December 21, Jagdeo said he met with the diplomatic community and informed the representatives that the government is constitutionally bound to hold elections within three months.
Present were representatives from the United States (US) Embassy, the British High Commission, the Canadian High Commission, and the European Union (EU).
The Opposition Leader said that he then explained that if elections are not held within that timeframe, the political opposition will recognize the government as an “unconstitutional” one. As such, he said that all loans and grants offered to Guyana, after the day elections should be held, will not be recognized by the opposition.
In response, the State Minister shared that Jagdeo’s statement is premature.
“…a threat by the Opposition Leader about recognizing contracts and so is quite premature” Harmon said, adding that the diplomatic community will have to make that decision.
“I think that those representatives of foreign countries will be able to make a proper analysis and a report to their countries and governments” the Minister stated.
In relation to foreign investments during that period, Harmon said that it will be entirely up to the companies to make that decision, based on their analysis.
“Whether companies will invest in Guyana is a decision that the companies have to make. These are business decision that they will have to make. I believe Guyana is a safe place to invest, a secured destination,” he said, adding that over the last two years, a number of foreign companies have entered Guyana’s market.
“In my view, that business environment has not changed. That security environment has not changed. And in my view, the companies looking at Guyana as a destination for investment, that nothing much has changed, except for an opposition that is now bent on creating mischief” Minister Harmon concluded.
On December 21, then government Member of Parliament (MP), Charrandass Persaud voted in favour of an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion, allowing its passage. However, there is now a challenge to the outcome of the vote in the High Court.
On the other hand, the opposition believes that the government should start the preparations for elections.