Guyana government seeks clarification on rejected USAID project


By Caribbean News Now contributor

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Head of Guyana’s Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon on Wednesday said that he has written to the US Ambassador Brent Hardt seeking clarification as to whether or not the Embassy and/or USAID and/or the International Republican Institute are implementing activities under a leadership and democracy project which the government has rejected.

He was at the time speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing and, at a previous press briefing, he had explained that Cabinet had disapproved of the US$1.5 million USAID project due to certain flaws in the agreement.

However, despite this, Luncheon said that there have been persistent claims that certain activities under the project were being proceeded with.

The Guyana government pulled out of the US-funded project designed to strengthen citizen involvement in local politics because it claimed US officials wanted to work only with the opposition.

Government spokesman Kwame McKoy said on Monday that the Cabinet had rejected the project “out of hand." He said the US should have "absolutely no input" in municipal affairs in Guyana.

Hardt has reportedly been in the forefront of a lobbying campaign by some Guyana-based diplomats pushing for local government elections to be held for the first time since 1994.

However, Hardt’s apparently close relationship with opposition politicians in Guyana has given rise to some negative comments locally.



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