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Guyana revokes work permit for US contractor of controversial democracy project

Chief of Party of the LEAD Project, Glenn Bradbury

The Guyana government on Wednesday announced that the work permit Head of the United States (US)-funded Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project, Glenn Bradbury has been revoked amid ongoing objections to the project.

“It is a fact that the revocation has taken place but it is equally a fact that Mr, Bradbury,  a Canadian citizen has had a reputation brought to the attention both of his employer- the US government through its Ambassador – and to the Canadian High Commission.

“I would want to believe that we can in general speak to the revocation being made on the that the immigration laws of Guyana have been offended by Mr Bradbury and his actions in Guyana,”  said Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon.

When contacted, Bradbury declined to react to the decision announced by Luncheon and its wider implications for the future of the US$1.5 million project. “I would not make no speculations about what the fate of the project is going to be as well. At this point in time, I am declining interviews about either the project or my work permit,” he told Demerara Waves.

Bradbury, a Canadian, is employed by the US-based International Republican Institute (IRI) whch has been contracted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to execute the LEAD project.

Demerara Waves Online News has learnt that the American embassy has been taken by surprise of the Guyana government’s decision. The mission did not immediately respond to media queries.

Bradbury’s work permit revocation came less than one week after the governing Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) called for LEAD to be halted pending discussions and possible re-crafting of the project. Accusing the US of violating Guyana’s sovereignty by rejecting repeated calls by government for the project to be suspended to facilitate talks, the Guyana government maintained that it was not properly consulted in the project design. The embassy has denied that claim and has refused to halt the project because of contractual obligations.

The PPP has in the past accused the US of using the project to bolster the opposition’s electoral chances by providing funding and other resources.

The American embassy has always maintained that no money has been provided to any political party, but that support had been provided for awareness sessions on long-awaited local government elections.

According to project documents seen by Demerara Waves, LEAD is aimed at forging closer working relationships among political parties, women and youths in discussing issues and developing ideas that could lead to better policy formulation and constitutional reform. Government has rebuffed any efforts by foreign interests to help advocate constitutional reform in Guyana.