At a press conference he hosted today, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo told the media that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) found itself on unequal footing in Washington. He said that the APNU+AFC Government has representation there and is peddling lies. But, the PPP had nothing in place to counter those lies.
Jagdeo said too that the PPP was concerned with the image being painted to international bodies like the Organization of American States (OAS).
Therefore, Jagdeo said that the party agreed that it would be best to hire Mercury Public Affairs to essentially promote the PPP in Washington.
He also said that this American firm will help the PPP to advocate for free and fair elections in Guyana.
Jagdeo told the media that he knows the firm to be very effective and is confident that it will be able to deliver on those functions. Paying over $31M already for just a few months, Jagdeo said that he is sure the PPP will get its money’s worth.
But, what Jagdeo did not say at today’s press conference is that the company also has a responsibly to somehow ensure that the PPP gets back into office.
The contract seen by Guyana Standard says that the “principal aim” of the American company is to ensure that PPP regains power in Guyana.
This is the same company that was implicated in the US Special Counsel Robert Muller’s probe into Russia’s interference in America’s 2016 elections in favor of Donald Trump. Trump is now the President of the United States despite the odds he faced.
Mercury was also fined for breach of US laws.
But Jagdeo said he is not concerned about any of that. In fact, he said that that has to be the concern of the media, not him.
Jagdeo stressed, “We are very happy with the firm. We are happy with the credentials and the fact that it is a bipartisan firm and we are very pleased. We needed a presence in Washington because a lot of the opinions there of many organizations including multilateral financial institutions…and the US government could be tainted by the lies the government has been telling…”
He continued, “We needed to have a presence there so we can bring a balance to what is being peddled. And so we took this step and we will continue with that. When I was there, I met with senior functionaries from the US government and we will continue to do that.”
Jagdeo was asked how he could be saying on one hand that he wants free and fair elections yet; the PPP is hiring a firm that is implicated in a summary of a US report on elections tampering in 2016 involving the Russians.
The Opposition Leader said, “You should research carefully and I am telling you I did that too and that is why I am telling you (it is a situation of) one partner of the firm versus the firm and when you look at the difference then you will speak back to me… I am happy with Mercury Public Affairs. I have reviewed their work and they are a very effective firm. That is what we need, an effective firm to counter the lies being told by APNU in Washington…We are getting every cent worth.”
The contract between the PPP and Mercury was signed on March 7, last, and comes to an end on June 5, 2019. The Opposition Leader said that when that time comes, the PPP will decide if it wants to continue with the firm or not.