By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon has defended Foreign Affairs Minister (ag) Priya Manickchand’s assault on outgoing United States Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt.
Dr. Luncheon told reporters today (Friday, July 4), at a post cabinet media briefing that the response was a “feral and fitting” one, given the fact that the Ambassador had previously chastised the country’s Head of State, Donald Ramotar.
During the US independence celebration on Wednesday (July 02), at the home of the Ambassador, Manickchand unleashed Government’s wrath, describing the conduct of the Ambassador as ‘unprofessional and undiplomatic.’ She was booed and heckled by the crowd during her speech.
In recent times, Hardt has been pressuring the government, more specifically President Donald Ramotar, to set a date for the long overdue local government elections. On Monday he chastised Ramotar for selectively upholding the constitution of Guyana.
When questioned, Dr Luncheon confirmed that the speech was prepared by Cabinet members, debunking claims that it was written by one person or the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He further noted that the speech was sent to President Ramotar and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall for their input. The duo is in Antigua attending the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting.
He explained that given the Ambassador’s attack on Ramotar, “the administration was disposed to act immediately.”
Dr. Luncheon believes that the forum at which the speech was delivered was appropriate, as he pointed out that Hardt departs Guyana on Sunday, July 06.
“The ritual was an ideal opportunity,” the Cabinet Secretary noted. He accused the media of being ‘mute’ when the US Ambassador chastised the President publicly at an event hosted by the non – governmental organization, Blue CAPS.