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The Citizenship Initiative party releases campaign donations, expenses

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, 19:06 by Writer

Rhonda-Ann Lam addressing the launch of Citizenship Initiative political party at Herdmanston Lodge.

The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) political party today released figures on its campaign financing since it launched last October, in what is believed to be the first such public disclosure by any of Guyana’s political parties.

In what appeared to be a fairly detailed breakdown, the party said it got GY$2.5 million in donations and spent just over GY$2 million.

The party did not identify any of the 27 contributors, but merely called each of them donor. TCI says this is in keeping with its promise to release the identity of donors who give US$10,000 or more. “No donor has given more than the amount we set so we have exercised the option of providing the donor number and the amount(s) given,” TCI said.

TCI says the highest aggregate donation is from a US-based supporter with a total donation of $462,000 while the smallest donation was an online contribution of US$10 or GY$2,100 from one donor.

The party says its list of expenses are from October of last year to end of January of this year, but its main expenses for October were towards their launch event on the 17th.

TCI says there was no expenditure for November since it used that month primarily for strategic planning. “We dedicated the month of December for outreaches, reconnaissance and final candidate and nominator drives in time for nomination day of January 10. We also dedicated funds towards a US outreach that included visits to the Carter Centre Headquarters as well as small outreach events in Atlanta and New York,” the party added.

The Citizenship Initiative political party says it decided to release the figures because “when political parties are not required to disclose where their money comes from to run their campaigns, the public does not have a record of the companies and individuals who influence their decision-making while holding elected office.”

That political party says this establishes “the fertile ground for the corruption that has stretched across governments in this country.” TCI says “the introduction of oil money into developing countries, particular those like Guyana with weak institutions, overwhelmingly results in increased corruption and shady deals.”

TCI adds that the disclosure of campaign financing is being done in the interest of public accountability and encourages participatory citizenship.