Shuman silent on financiers of new political party

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He has promised accountability and transparency, but Presidential Candidate of the Liberty and Justice Party (JLP) Lenox Shuman has refused to reveal his Party’s financiers.

“I cannot disclose that,” Shuman told reporters at the sidelines of the launch of his Party at the Georgetown Club Saturday evening.

“Our funders are not willing to be identified…because we know some of them have literally been victimized by the public and all you have to do is look back in the papers and see what happens,” he added.

He made it clear his Party is not being funded by any existing political parties.

In fact, Shuman said his Party has refused over $100M so far in funding from an anonymous donor.

“We don’t know where the money is coming from, we don’t know if the businesses are legitimate or if they are simply trying to launder money through us, so we don’t want to commit to that,” Shuman said.

“We’re not going to take money from any and every one…we have to go through due diligence and when that is done, then we look at if it is in our interest to go that route.”

The issue of campaign financing to avoid corruption is once again at the forefront as Guyana prepares for General and Regional Elections but successive Governments have failed to put laws in place to address the issue.

However, Shuman has committed that his Party will, after negotiations with its funders, reveal the names of its donors to the public.

“By the time we get to elections…we are going to talk to those people so we can present that to the public and ensure that on our website there is a constant monitoring of our finance,” he said.

“I can’t say we’re going to show you the balance but we can show you how the money is spent and who our donors are.”

Shuman has confirmed that the LJP has been in negotiations with A New and United Guyana (ANUG)—another political party which is set to launch this week.

However, he told reporters that his Party doesn’t “see it is our interest to work with them at this point,” as it would like to guard against being absorbed into another party.

“We do not want to be placed into a position of the AFC (Alliance For Change),” he said, referring to the smaller faction of the governing coalition which has blended in with its larger partners until, according to critics, is no longer relevant.

The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) is symbolized by the colour blue and a logo of a handshake.

While all of the Party’s members have not been disclosed, Shuman said he was selected as the Presidential Candidate on a consensus vote of the Party’s 25 core members.

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