Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMediaPeoples Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee on Tuesday accused an American government of contractor of violating Guyana’s sovereignty and protocols, but declined to justify his claims.
Rohee said Head of the Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project, Glenn Bradbury’s work permit was revoked because he had engaged in actions that were inimical to Guyana’s national interest.
Pressed on what were those, he said the official of the International Republican Institute (IRI) had been approaching organisations like the PPP, University of Guyana and a number of parliamentary committees without going through their heads.
“The party has found that Mr. Bradbury had been engaging institutions without the approval of the respective heads of those institutions. He has also been misrepresenting reality and abusing long established protocols,” said Rohee.
Rohee, who is a former Foreign Minister, refused to say how those actions violated the country’s sovereignty and national interests. “I know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to explain further.”
He reiterated his party’s position that the LEAD project was seeking to bolster the political fortunes of the opposition but again opted to provide hard evidence.
Instead, he directed the media to “dig” and also to enquire of the United States embassy in Georgetown for the evidence. Reacting to Opposition Leader, David Granger’s view that the work permit revocation could be greeted with retaliatory action by the US, the Home Affairs Minister said “The PPP will not countenance any position which will render Guyana a mere flag-bearing mendicant which clearly the Opposition Leader wants our country to be.””
Rohee noted that if Bradbury remained here and continued to work, he would be violating Guyana’s immigration laws. He declined to say whether the IRI official would be arrested and deported.
IRI was contracted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement the US$1,250,000 LEAD project.
The US embassy here has dismissed claims by the Guyana government that it has not been properly consulted. Despite the work permit revocation, the embassy said it was still willing to meet with the government to iron out differences.
The embassy has said that LEAD is designed to benefit the Government and people of Guyana through the promotion of understanding and consensus-building within the National Assembly; greater citizen engagement with Parliament; civic education on local government and greater civic engagement among women and youth.
LEAD’s features are captured in a September 2009 agreement between government and USAID titled “Governing Justly and Democratically”.