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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Guyana Is A One Party State Says Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton To US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken

In response to Secretary of State of the United States Antony Blinken’s questions regarding Guyana’s governance, corruption, and poverty, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton stated that the country is a one-party state and called for electoral reforms.

Following his meeting with President Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali, Norton met with Blinken in the US Embassy in Georgetown.

Norton claimed to have brought a dossier outlining the opposition’s positions on a number of issues, such as the nation’s significant reliance on infrastructure and food and energy security.

The report “contains a number of issues,” according to Norton. We brought up the subject of energy and food security.

It dealt with the oil industry, and I drew attention to the excessive emphasis on infrastructure capital spending and the lack of a genuine focus on human development.

Of course, it lamented the fact that we are an oil nation, that we live in poverty, and that resources are not trickling down.

The Guyana Police Force has been politicized and is now acting as an extension of the People’s Progressive Party, Norton said.

“We informed him of the consequences of this type of economic starvation of the African Guyanese community, and like in my presentation, I spoke to the fact that a one-party state is emerging.

The opposition leader claimed that Guyana’s recent reception of two US Secretaries of State illustrates the country’s current status as a global player.

We support those sentiments, but we also think that in the Guyana context, there is a need for inclusiveness, and once that can emerge, then we will find ourselves in a better position, Norton said.

“I underscored the fact that he himself said in his talk with the Western Hemispheric group that they are looking towards a free, secure, open, and prosperous world, and I said to him that we endorse those sentiments”, Norton said.

Mike Pompeo, the previous US Secretary of State, visited Guyana in 2020. He did not interact with the opposition throughout his visit.

According to Guyanese media, the Norton-Blinken encounter seems to have taken the Guyana administration by surprise.

Norton claimed to have used the meeting to bring up the need for electoral reform and an improved voting system in advance of the 2025 elections.

I told him that Guyana is essentially a one-party state and that the democratic checkpoints are being removed. I also advised him that we should strive toward inclusivity in the debates.

He showed a lot of attention when I mentioned the need for stability after the upcoming elections and that there isn’t economic freedom in Guyana or that (Government) contracts are awarded in a very biased manner.

I basically indicated that once we have a clean voter list and biometrics, among other things, it is conceivable,” Norton said.



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