Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton and an Opposition team met and held discussions with the Special Advisor to the US Vice President on the Western Hemisphere and other US officials on Monday.
The Special Advisor to the US Vice President Jospeh Salazar and the Deputy Director for the US Office on Western Hemishere, Caribbean Affairs Michael Taylor arrived in Guyana on Monday for a two-day visit.
The Opposition Leader told News Source that the meeting with the US Officials went well, and the Opposition was able to highlight many of the issues that are of concern to the Opposition and a wide cross section of the society.
He said while the discussions surrounded Climate Change and related matters, the Opposition was able to raise the issue of Governance, Democracy and Government Discrimination.
Mr. Norton said the Opposition team also raised the issue of “misuse and abuse of the Terrorism Act” by the Government to charge persons.
“I would describe it as a successful meeting. We discussed governance, we made it very clear that there is no real democracy here and that all of the democratic instutions are being destroyed. We spoke about climate change and the need to make changes to be climate resiliant. And we touched on the discrimination in the society by the Government and identified the kinds of changes we need to have to move in the right direction”, Norton said.
The two US Officials also met with President Irfaan Ali and a Government team on Monday and also engaged civil society members.
Opposition Leader Norton said he also raised the issue of the state of the state media in Guyana under the current administration.
“We raised the issue of little or no access to the state media, which is suppose to be the people’s media, we made that clear and we pointed out that a large percentage of the (government) contracts goes to one PPP elite group as such and those are some of the issues we touched on”, he explained.
The Opposition has been raising a number of issues related to the state of the country and governance under the incumbent administration with a number of US Government officials.
Just last week, Opposition Member of Parliament Coretta McDonald and Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine met and held brief discussions with US Congress Minority Leader, Congressman Hackeem Jeffries during a visit to New York.
Jeffries and other US government officials have made various calls for improved governance in Guyana in the past.