Rejected USAID Project: APNU explains its importance to Local Govt. Elections


By Kurt Campbell

APNU Leader, David Granger
APNU Leader, David Granger

[] – Leader of the main opposition party – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – David Granger says apart from the infrastructure that will be put in place by the Guyana Election’s Commission (GECOM), the second most important thing for the holding of Local Government Elections is education.

This is why he believes that the USAID, Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project which has been rejected by the Government is most important and its non-implementation will be a loss suffered.

The Opposition Leader told reporters on Friday (January 10) that many voters are unaware of the complexity of the elections and the process for selection of candidates.

He said this is why the LEAD project is important. He reminded that the project is geared towards promoting local democracy and a healthy participation of all citizens.

He is of the view that the Government should have embraced the project on these grounds and make the education of citizens, in relation to the electoral process a priority.

The Alliance for Change (AFC) is also in support of its opposition counterpart and condemned Government’s rejection of the project.   The AFC says it has noted with amusement the ‘pretended alarm’ uttered by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon in relation to the project.

Dr. Luncheon had accused US Ambassador Brent Hardt, who is spearheading the implementation of the project of making public statements which are arrogant and contentious.

He said it was gross disrespect for the Ambassador to go ahead and implement aspects the project, as reported despite his administration’s rejection and described such reports is an insult to Guyana’s sovereignty.

The AFC in a statement said it believes that any effort which enhances democracy, promotes rather than undermines sovereignty.

The AFC says the project is important especially since there has been no Local Government Elections for over 14 years and “where the country is governed by a minority party which is continuously at war with the legislative arm of the state, any effort which improves the participation of a broader cross section of the population in the decision making process of the country is not only welcomed but necessary.”

The combined opposition has endorsed the project and its implementation stating that it is not only useful but necessary.



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