Government still not supporting USAID Democracy project

Government still not supporting USAID Democracy project

Despite the urging of some in the private sector and the political opposition, the Government of Guyana is still not giving its support to the USAID Democracy project which the US government intends to proceed with in Guyana without the Government’s assistance.

The Government’s Chief Spokesman, Dr. Roger Luncheon on Wednesday insisted that the administration would not be budging from its position. He said when it comes to the Democracy project “it doesn’t enjoy the support, it doesn’t find favour with the Government of Guyana”

The US Embassy in Georgetown through the Ambassador has indicated that efforts were made to engage the Government on the project but those efforts failed. The embassy from all appearances, intends to proceed with the nationwide project with other interest groups and stake holders.

That decision is not finding any support from the Donald Ramotar administration which has already written to the U.S State Department to file an official complaint against U.S Ambassador Brent Hardt and his decision to move forward with the multi million dollar initiative.

The Guyana Government has also decided to no longer engage the local US Embassy any longer on the project because of the decision to move the project forward. “We ain’t negotiating under duress. We are not discussing a project and its implementation whilst it’s being implemented”, Dr Luncheon said on Wednesday at his post cabinet press briefing.

The Government had written to the Ambassador for clarification on the reports that the project was moving forward. The Embassy responded and encouraged the Government to get involved. Now, the Guyana Government is expected to dispatch another complaint to the U.S State Department on the issue.

“We need to have a discussion, the administration feels it is not an insurmountable matter, and we must find ways to address the issue, but we will not hold discussions while the project is ongoing,” Dr Luncheon said.

The US Embassy in Georgetown has not been offering much comment on the issue but has sent copies of the project document to media houses that requested information.

Some senior members of the private sector have said they see no reason why the project ought not to be supported since it seeks to strengthen democracy in Guyana especially in small communities. The Opposition parties have lambasted the Government for not supporting the project and they have indicated their decision to offer the project full support.

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