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PPP accuses US of boosting opposition fortunes

The governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday accused the United States (US) of attempting to destabilize the government by financing activities of the political opposition through a US$1.250 million project that government has disapproved.

“There is deep suspicion in political circles that this particular project was conceived to bolster the political fortunes of the opposition political parties in Guyana. 

Small wonder why the political opposition and sections of the Media are enamored with the project and has gobbled it up with hunger and satisfaction.  After all, the money tree has now sprung up in the Opposition Camp to fund trips to the interior of our country, and radio and TV time, in short, to provide funding for activities of the opposition political parties so that they may have some political advantage over the PPP,” stated the PPP in a statement.

The PPP urged Guyanese to be made aware of these blatant efforts to interfere in our country’s domestic politics aimed at strengthening the hand of the political opposition with sole objective of destabilizing the democratically elected PPP/C Administration.

Government has discarded the Leadership and Democracy Project (LEAD) project on grounds that it was not properly consulted, individual political parties were being engaged and resourced to carry out activities. In the wake of concerns that the US embassy, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and/or the contracted agency International Republican Institute (IRI) was still executing aspects of the project, the US Ambassador, Brent Hardt has been quoted in the privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper as saying that it would be going ahead with the project.

Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, however, earlier Tuesday called a “red herring” suggestions that government was concerned that LEAD was aimed ultimately at toppling the Guyana government. But the party said it feared that Guyana has turned full circle to the extent that  the country has returned to the days of the mid 1960’s when the AFLCIO funded opposition Trade Unions and  political parties to destabilise the Jagan-led PPP Government during the 1962-1964 period.

The PPP said in its statement that it abhors the gross disrespect and abuse of diplomatic privilege by a member of the Diplomatic Community here in Guyana.

The party recalled that since its assumption to Office   in 1992 persistent efforts have been made by the PPP/C Administration to encourage and develop to the mutual benefit of the Government of Guyana and USAID, harmonious, acceptable and people-centered projects and programmes in the spirit of international cooperation,

“Throughout these years, the PPP/C Administration has worked painstakingly to ensure that bilateral cooperation with successive US Administrations in the health sector, the security sector, the fight against drug trafficking and trafficking in persons,  were successfully implemented to the mutual benefit of both countries, notwithstanding the challenges in each area,” the PPP added.

According to Freedom House, it is mind boggling to observe the  conscious if not  calculated straying away from long established traditions and the veering off onto a totally unknown and unacceptable path far removed from established customs and practices.

The party pledged to rely on its historical and contemporary political experience to fight and  to change at the  political level, the course of events thrown up by this new challenge.
                                                       
The Party said it stands four square behind the Government and its efforts to defend our country’s national  interests and the sovereign right of the Guyanese people to resist any abuse of diplomatic privilege by a foreign mission in Guyana and its efforts to interfere in the domestic political situation in our country.