US Secretary of State to highlight “inclusive and transparent governance” in Guyana

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

The United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to stress the importance of “inclusive and transparent governance” in Guyana during his two-day visit this oil-rich South American nation.

“We stand together with diverse population of Guyana, as inclusive and transparent governance will be key to building a sustainable future,” the State Department said in a fact sheet issued ahead of Mr. Pompeo’s two-day visit to Guyana.         

The US Secretary of State, who had been one of the major international players calling for free and fair election results based on the national vote recount, is expected to ink a bilateral agreement with President Irfaan Ali before they host a joint press conference. In Wednesday’s fact sheet, the US State Department highlighted that “U.S. support for Guyana’s recent presidential elections, including electoral observation missions, were crucial to ensuring that the election was free, fair, credible, and transparent and reflected the will of the Guyanese people.”

Dr. Ali is on record several times as emphasising the need for inclusive governance, but he has never committed to executive power sharing. Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had also cited the need for a new governance model that would include the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).

While Mr. Jagdeo had said a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration would hold talks with A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had declared the winner, no such dialogue has been held.

The PPP administration has since gone ahead and appointed several State boards without any representation from APNU+AFC. Government has also used its simple majority of 33 seats to support opposition parliamentarian Lenox Shuman from the three-party joinder system for the post of Deputy Speaker instead of APNU+AFC’s nominee, Raphael Trotman.

Mr. Trotman is a former House Speaker.

While in office from 1992 to 2015, the PPP administration had been often accused of corruption, discrimination, nepotism, but the APNU+AFC-led administration had failed to successfully prosecute many top officials who had been identified in alleged corruption.

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No compromise of Guyana’s territorial sovereignty, says Jagdeo

           … ahead of Secretary of State Pompeo’s visit

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday sought to assure Guyanese that the country’s territorial sovereignty would not be compromised, but he acknowledged that the Guyana government was concerned about the political situation in Venezuela.

“We have grave concerns. We support democracy everywhere. We have grave concerns about democracy anywhere where it is violated including in Venezuela but we will defend Guyana’s interests and what’s good for our people, Guyanese; that is what is foremost in the minds of this administration, our people; their interest comes first,” he said.

The House Speaker Manzoor Nadir on Wednesday again disallowed questions to Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd by the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) about United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Guyana from September 17 to 18.

Mr. Todd did not refer to Mr. Pompeo’s visit to Guyana, but in a separate interview released by the Department of Public Information. Mr. Jagdeo stressed that his administration would do nothing to endanger Guyana’s territorial integrity. “You can be assured that we will never do anything that will compromise Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we have demonstrated this over the many years by our full support for initiatives by APNU on the border,” he said.

Mr. Jagdeo noted that een in the five-month period when APNU+AFC was “trying to steal the elections” the People’s Progressive Party had still participated in the hearing at the International Court of Justice). “We don’t trifle with our borders. That is not a political issue. We don’t compromise national interest on the border,” he said.

Vice President Jagdeo objected to APNU+AFC asking government to release the agenda of the meeting with the US Secretary of State. He believed that the opposition coalition was upset with the US’ stance and especially that of Mr. Pompeo. “I suspect they are still smarting from the positions taken by the US in that period,” Mr. Jagdeo said in referring to claims by the coalition that the March 2, 2020 general elections had been rigged by the PPP. The US and several sections of the international community had, however, insisted on the use of the national vote recount figures to declare the results which was eventually done on August 2, 2020 and saw the PPP declared the winner.

Mr. Jagdeo recalled that Guyana had given ExxonMobil a “liberal contract” because it was strategic to have an American company in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone because it helped to defend our sovereignty.

Then President David Granger had confirmed turning down a request by the US for Voice of America radio programmes to beamed on Guyana’s allocated medium wave radio frequency spectrum, saying that it was not in this country’s national interest to do so.

The Irfaan Ali-led administration almost immediately on assuming office last month appeared quite cozy with the US.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On September 17, 2020 at 3:05 am

    USA hedgemony soon to be challenged by CHINA’s…
    Politricks !

  • John O'Connor, JSPS  On September 17, 2020 at 6:27 am

    This has to be a joke. I guess he means as long as the Guyanese of any colour don’t come to the States.

  • Winston  On September 17, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I just felt like throwing up after reading this article. All this talk about government of inclusiveness, transparency & democracy by both Jagdeo and Pompeo but not once was there any mention of cleaning up the voters list. Until this government moves in that direction, don’t believe a single word that comes out of Jagdeo’s mouth. I see he continues to be the mouthpiece for Ali.

  • Kman  On September 17, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Is this the same kind of governance in the US?

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