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The US Government has signaled its intentions to establish a $300M (US$1.5M) project that targets the strengthening of the National Parliament and the system of Local Governance.Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier (Ret’d) David GrangerThe disclosure was made Thursday at the Office of the Opposition Leader, Hadfield Street, during a meeting between officials of the US Embassy and the representatives of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU).According to the 10-party coalition, Ambassador D. Brent Hardt explained that this new project focuses on strengthening the role and effectiveness of Parliament,Jerseys Cheap Wholesale, public education and information for Local Government and engagement and involvement of young people in the political system. The project will be handled by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Leader of the Opposition, Brigadier (Ret’d) David Granger, was accompanied by Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine,Cheap Jerseys Outlet, Ronald Bulkan, MP, Finance and Development, Carl Greenidge,Cheap Jerseys From China, MP, and Legal Affairs, Attorney General and Labour, Basil Williams, MP, along with the Policy Advisor,Wholesale China Jerseys, Lance Carberry.The US Ambassador was accompanied by Humberto A. Collado,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, Programme Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean, Michael Fraser, Political and Economic Chief, US Embassy, Michael Murphy,Carlton Fisk Jersey, IRI Project Advisor; and Cloe Noble, Programme Management Specialist, USAID.A few months ago, the US Embassy, British and Canadian High Commissions and EU Delegation, in a joint statement, called for the holding of early Local Government Elections.The last one was in the 90’s with any new elections hinging on the passage of new Local Government legislations.APNU yesterday said that during the meeting, a number of critical issues were also raised.These include the need for strengthening of the National Assembly to ensure that it is equipped to effectively ensure that the Executive is accountable to the people through their representatives in the National Assembly; technical and analytical support for the work of the National Assembly, including the establishment of a Budget Office.Also raised was the need for the Opposition to be assisted in improving its capacity to Legislative Drafting assistance for the Opposition and professional research support for the work of committees.APNU said that it also voiced its concerns over the lack of adequate resources to ensure the effective functioning of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition; the challenges to part-time MPs especially with the increasing demands of the Committee system; the need to guarantee the independence and autonomy of Constitutional Offices and institutions; the implications of the proliferation of “acting” appointments; the status of Local Government reform as a precondition for the holding of Local Government Elections and the removal of the heavy hand of Ministerial manipulation of the Local Government system.US Ambassador, D. Brent HardtThe coalition said that it called for comprehensive Public Education programmes to ensure that the new Local Government system is understood; the need for “civic” education for encouraging young people to become actively involved in the political system must also be widespread; the challenge of independent “funding” for the Local Government system; and the implications of the refusal of the President to give his assent to Opposition bills.“It was evident that the new USAID project could make a valuable contribution for advancing the evolution of a truly democratic culture in Guyana,” APNU said.
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