President David Granger on Wednesday denied that the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has been sidelined over the last two years and he expressed veiled concerns about that party taking its concerns to the public.
“Every party in the APNU is represented so there has been no side-lining of any one of the parties,” he said. “I was very careful in 2015 to ensure that every party in the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) is represented in the National Assembly and has a position.”
Granger also dismissed WPA’s claims that it had not been consulted before Roopnaraine had been appointed shortly after the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.
Ahead of next month’s meeting of the five-party APNU- the first such meeting since the coalition’s victory more than two years ago-, the President shrugged off questions about whether he was concerned about the WPA venting its concerns in the public. “I don’t believe that the business of the coalition could be efficiently and effectively transacted in the media and I don’t do business like that,” the President said.
“I run a coalition and I do not attack my partners. I have not expressed any concerns. I have not reacted but I know where we are going, I know the importance of the coalition to social cohesion, to democracy and to the future of this country,” Granger added.
The WPA has said that it has repeatedly raised concerns about the failure of APNU’s leadership councils to meet to thrash out issues and have a say in government’s programmes and policies.
On the thorny issue of whether the WPA had been consulted before a decision was taken to appoint ministers, the President he could not understand how members of six parties could have been nominated without the parties being consulted.
“As far as the other parties (a part from the Alliance For Change), those are the nominees of the parties. Dr. Roopnaraine was the Prime Ministerial candidate at my side throughout the 2011 campaign, he sat down in Parliament throughout the 10th Parliament, we campaigned together so he was always seen to be and deemed to be representing the Working People’s Alliance. He doesn’t belong to the PNC, he doesn’t belong to the AFC. He belongs to the WPA so you better ask them,” he said.
The ongoing controversy enveloped on June 13, 2017 when government announced that Dr. Roopnaraine was being shifted from the Ministry of Education to the newly established portfolio of Ministry of the Public Service.
The WPA has said it was not properly consulted but merely told of the decision in meeting that party chairman was summoned to by President Granger.