Opposition Leader and General Secretary of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo dragged the oil companies into the political fray today by claiming that they are working with the government to push back on the Global Witness report, which raised concerns about Guyana’s oil contract with Exxon.
Global Witness, which is an international non-governmental organisation, raised several concerns about Guyana’s renegotiated contract with Exxon. The concerns were raised in a detail report compiled by the company.
At his weekly solo press conference this afternoon, Mr. Jagdeo said he has great suspicion that the oil companies have been quietly taking a political position.
“So, APNU has gone into a spin mood, and I suspect that they are supported by the oil companies. I heard that some oil companies have even paid consultants to come and work with APNU, developing the spin messages to divert people attention from the Global Witness Report, and from the other transgression that took place in the contract negotiation, not just transgression but confusion…some of the foreigners are here now paid by the oil companies to help then with their PR (Public Relations), they have been going around with them to various places”, Jagdeo claimed.
The oil companies have distanced themselves from the local elections campaign and have in the past shot down claims by the Opposition of them offering financial support to the governing coalition.
Mr. Jagdeo has never provided evidence to back his claims.
But today he said he has been paying attention to how the companies have addressed the Global Witness report.
Mr. Jagdeo said “ predictably they have to denigrate the Global Witness organisation so they put out an AD and called it Global Witness and then they started quoting the Rystad study and a whole range of incestuous studies that suit them”.
The Government has said it believes the Global Witness report was issued at this time to influence the upcoming elections.
The report has been dismissed by a number of local and international analysts, with some describing it as an attempt to embarrass the government.