Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo today defended his party’s hiring of a US lobbying firm to represent the interest of the People’s Progressive Party in the United States.
The lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, is being paid just over $34 million for its work for the PPP.
At his weekly press conference, Mr. Jagdeo told reporters that the money to pay the firm came from donors and supporters of the party and the money was transferred from Guyana.
“Everything comes from donations. When I am in New York, we raise funds”, he said.
Jagdeo said the party’s executive approved the hiring of the company and he is happy with its credentials.
“We are happy that the firm is a bi-partisan firm, both Democrats and Republicans, and we’re very pleased. We badly needed a presence in Washington because a lot of the opinions formed in the US or in Washington for many of the organizations including the multi lateral financial institutions, the OAS and the US Government could be tainted by the lies that APNU (governing party) has been telling”.
He said he wants the organisations and the US government to have a balanced view of what is happening in Guyana and that is the reason behind hiring the firm.
The Lobbying firm hired by the PPP is currently one of the companies under probe by the US Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who has been examining Russian interference in the last US elections. The company has also found itself in breach of ethics laws and has been charged and fined in the past.
Mr. Jagdeo said none of that worries him since the company is an effective firm and he has reviewed its work and is pleased with its capacity.
He refused to divulge information about some of the work that the company will handle for his party.