Guyana backs United States instead of conventional Latin American presidency of IDB

Last Updated on Thursday, 6 August 2020, 0:38 by Denis Chabrol

Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone

President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday said his government had no time with the convention that a Latin American candidate is usually voted in as President of the Inter-American Development (IDB) and instead opted to back the United States (US) candidate as he is the better candidate.

“The US candidate was put to us and we have offered our support because we think the US candidate is a good candidate and it is a candidate that would effectively carry out the functions,” he told reporters shorty after swearing in 19 more ministers.

With the convention being that a national of a Latin American country would always occupy the seat of the IDB presidency, the Guyanese leader said his administration opted to  move away from that position. “I am not dealing with convention. I am dealing with a request that was made to the government of Guyana and the government of Guyana has no objection in supporting that (candidate),” he said.

The US has been a major Western backer in and out of the Organisation of American States (OAS) for the national vote recount figures to have been used to declare Ali’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) the winner of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections. The US more than one year ago also for the first time openly supported Guyana’s position that the entire Essequibo Region belongs to this country in accordance with the 1899 Arbitral Award that settled the land boundary with Venezuela.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Hugh Todd declined to immediately comment on the Guyana government’s decision to support US candidate Mr. Mauricio Claver- Carone. He  is coming up against the former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla.

Dr. Irfaan Ali

If Claver-Carone wins, this will be the first time that the US would be holding the IDB’s Presidency in a clear break with the unwritten rule that the post should go to someone from the Latin American Caribbean region.

The IDB will hold elections on 12 and 13 September to succeed the current President Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia whose term ends on 30 September 2020.

“The nomination of Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone demonstrates the U.S. commitment to leadership in important regional institutions, and the advancing of prosperity and security in the Western Hemisphere. 

His leadership of the IDB is expected to strengthen its ability to deliver development impact to the region,” the Guyana Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The IDB plays a pivotal role in the progress and overall development of Guyana and the Latin America and Caribbean region.