With just two days to go to the historic Local Government Elections (LGE), the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday said the USAID-funded “Vote Like a Boss (VLAB)” campaign was a political non-entity aimed at “wooing” young voters to cast their ballots in favour of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition.
The PPP, in a statement, said that it noted the reappearance of the campaign on the electoral scene once again on the eve of the LGE billed for Friday.
It reminded that the “political non-entity” comes to life only at election time, like it did on the eve of the May 2015 Regional and General Elections.
The PPP said that the VLAB campaign was clearly foreign-funded and representing foreign interests, “who have an anti-PPP agenda for ideological and political reasons”.
“It is instructive to note that “Vote Like a Boss” exists for no other but electoral purposes and its main mission, notwithstanding its efforts to appear non-political publically, neutral and educational, nevertheless, its principal aim is to influence politically the youth voter in a particular political direction and to sway young voters away from the PPP/C into the camps of the APNU+AFC,” the statement said.
The Opposition, without naming any particular individual, organisation or country, said that it suspected the VLAB campaign to be funded by non-Guyanese to influence the local body politic and to work for change against progressive parties and movements in many countries around the world.
“VLAB is so well-endowed with funds that it can afford to post more than a dozen advertisements costing millions in the Guyana Chronicle, the Kaieteur News, Stabroek News and the Guyana Times,” the PPP highlighted.
Since the VLAB does not contest elections, the PPP is questioning the purpose of its existence and whose political and ideological interests it serves.
The Opposition said while the campaign was trying to convince Guyanese about its political neutrality and unbiased ideological and non-racial orientation, “it is abundantly clear that the VLAB by the nature of its social media content and its Facebook page, it is clearly hostile to the PPP and pro-APNU+AFC”.
The Opposition Party said that it would not be fooled and misled by “the subterfuge of VLAB and its external sponsors”.
“The PPP has had years of experience in dealing with front and foreign-funded NGOs such as VLAB; the mask will surely fall from VLAB,” it added.
The VLAB campaign is supported by the US Embassy in Georgetown as part of its initiative to encourage voter participation at the upcoming elections.
The campaign has brought together a number of Guyanese youth groups and youth activists.