With interim Gov’t in place, Jagdeo rails against signing of US$2.2M hydropower project

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday issued a strong public warning to international donors against releasing monies to the interim Government, noting that there will be consequences for the repayment of such funds.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo referred to the US $2,251,880 contract signed by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for the design, supply and installation of 150kw Hydropower plant on the Cheung River at Kato Village in Region 8.

The Opposition Leader said he does not have an issue with the project but it is being started in an unconstitutional manner since the Government is not authorized to sign contracts in its interim mode.

“We don’t have a problem with the [hydropower] project, we have a problem with this Government abusing the process and doing it in an unconstitutional way,” Jagdeo told reporters.

The Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) is funding the project under the Sustainable Energy Program for Guyana.

Jagdeo warned that the IDB and other funding agencies which continue to disburse funds to the Guyana Government will face implications for repayment in the future.

“Because I don’t think Guyanese taxpayers must repay monies that is being stolen with the complicity of some of these organisations,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said the party expressed its concerns to the IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno at a recent meeting.

Jagdeo noted that the award of contracts is in contravention of statements made by the international community and also the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice on June 18, 2018.

The CCJ ruled that the December 21, 2018 No-Confidence motion was validly passed and on July 12 said the Government continues in a caretaker or interim capacity until elections are held and a new President is appointed.

Therefore, it is only authorized to perform routine duties.

Jagdeo alleged that the coalition Government is using donor funding for campaign activities ahead of the March 2020 elections.

The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union on September 19 said that by surpassing September 18 without an election the government is in breach of the constitution and that this “hinders” their ability to support Guyana’s development needs.

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