The David Granger-led administration does not measure all international reports with the same gauge. Reports that paint the administration in good light are endorsed while those that are highly critical are discredited without examination. At least, this is what the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, is contending.
During a press conference earlier today, the party leader made specific reverence to the recently-released Transparency International’s report which indicates Guyana improved placement on the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
The report noted that for 2019, Guyana ranked 85 out of 180 countries while in 2018 it placed 93. In previous years, Guyana placed 91 for 2017, 108 for 2016 and 119 for 2015. It, therefore, means that 2019 is Guyana’s most improved year under the Granger administration.
Jagdeo said that this report was well-received by the government and formed the basis for counter-arguments. He noted that the Transparency International – an anti-corruption agency – came into high praises from the regime.
However, the same cannot be said for the recently-released Global Witness report. Jagdeo said that the report was discredited even before it was released.
The report chronicles the events leading up to the inking of the Guyana/ExxonMobil deal for the development of the offshore Stabroek Block. The report brings into question the supposed slapdash negotiating process between a government official and ExxonMobil. The agency seems convinced that Guyana should have gotten a better deal if the then subject minister and chief negotiator, Raphael Trotman, had taken the advice of experts prior to the inking of the deal and used the available leverage to acquire more for the country.
The government has since labelled the report “sensationalist, agenda-driven and extraordinarily speculative”.
This disparity, Jagdeo said is “duplicitous”, noting that while the government embraces favourable findings of one international anti-corruption agency (Transparency International), it is discrediting another, Global Witness, by using the analyses and reviews done by other international companies such as the Norway-based Rystad Energy and experts including Sir Paul Collier of the Oxford University.
“One would recall that this is the very government that hangs on tenaciously to every scrap of positive news that any international organisation mentions about Guyana to prove the case that they’re doing a good job. So, we’ve seen them doing that with Transparency International…They tout this international organisation as being great, but when other international organisations [like Global Witness releasing] this damning report, then suddenly, they’re not be believed or they’re people from the PPP,” he declared.