Sep 15, 2019 News
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has renewed its contract with the Washington-based political lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs.
During a press conference last Thursday at his Church Street office, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo mentioned the renewal, adding that it has been done with the same conditions and cost as the initial contract.
The firm is providing assistance to the party in preparation for Guyana’s next General and Regional Elections.
The initial contract states that Mercury Public Affairs LLC will provide strategic consulting and management services to issues facing the client in the areas of government relations and issues management.
Worth $31.4M, effective from March 5 to June 5, 2019, the date of signing for the initial contract, according to Jagdeo, was in anticipation of Guyana being faced by a constitutional crisis – the 90-day deadline that followed the No Confidence Motion.
This is likely the third iteration of the renewal. The first had expired in June and was renewed. That means the third iteration would have been renewed earlier this month.
The expected services include arranging meetings between the party’s executive branch and the Congress of the United States, the Organisation of American States, which links in connection with issues relating to the anticipated general and regional elections to take place in Guyana.
Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, had said that the hiring of the US lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs LLC, by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) spells bad news for Guyana’s democracy, as it has been implicated in a scheme to hide foreign influence peddling in the American 2016 elections.
Jagdeo had disclosed that he is aware of the negative reports on the firm, but his main concern is that it is bipartisan and that it is effective in getting the party’s message to the leaders of the US Government. He has also rejected insinuations that the firm is doing public relations for the party in Guyana.
Mercury is a bipartisan political strategy and consulting firm that focuses on campaigns and political communications ranging from advocacy advertising to litigation communications to media and public relations.
It is known to have provided services for leading advocacy groups, governments, political parties, NGOs, and prominent public and political figures including US President Donald Trump. Several current and former members of Mercury had active roles within some of the presidential campaigns for the 2016 US election cycle.
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