Rejected USAID Project: Luncheon and US Ambassador at logger-heads

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon has lashed out at United States Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt for his recent public utterances on the rejected USAID project.

According to Dr. Luncheon the statements which were published in the Stabroek News are arrogant and contentious and indicate that notwithstanding Government’s disapproval of the project the Ambassador had always intended to carry through with its implementation.

The Administration had rejected the project, stating that it had no input in the final design even though proposals were made in that regard.

However, despite Government’s rejection there are still some ‘reported’ activities being implemented from the project in some sections of the country.

According to the Cabinet Secretary, he had written to the United States Ambassador early in November seeking clarifications on the reports but to date have not received any response.

He further stated that the Administration has taken strong offence since the answers that were requested in the letter were the very ones expressed in the newspaper article.

“Cabinet is unhappy, to say the least, about the public response in the exclusive interview, and attempts to ignore and disregard cabinet’s disapproval.”

He maintained that no consultations were done with the Government in crafting the project.

“The project was conceived in the US, funded by congress and contractor procured to implement the project was done in the US prior to any engagement with this administration” Dr. Luncheon added.

He added the tender and procurement documents would support cabinet’s contention and challenged the Ambassador to make publicly available same.

The Government’s Spokesman told reporters that up until now the Government and USAID shared a good relationship.

A copy of the project which was given to reporters revealed that the USAID wanted to provide assistance to political parties in Guyana. The name of the project is: USAID Political Party Assistance Policy.

The document which was given to the media explained that the goals of the USAID Political Party Assistance Project are to develop and consolidate representative democracies, develop transparent political environments, establish viable democratic parties and ensure free and fair elections.

The project also seeks to provide assistance in Political Party Capacity Building, Strengthening the National Assembly, Support for the holding of Local Government Elections and support of Women and Youth Political Leadership.

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