by Zena Henry
APNU+AFC Coalition should finalise Cabinet members before weekend, reduced ministries to be addressed
The A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition is expected to have their Cabinet ready to work before this week ends. The two sides of the recently formed, President David Granger- led government is expected to have separate internal meetings today May 18 to determine who the sides want to be seated in Parliament and to hold ministerial offices.
With the AFC arm holding 40percent of the seats won by the Coalition, it was agreed that they would serve in key offices such as Tourism, Agriculture, Home Affairs and Public Works; with certain names already coming to the fore. General Secretary for the AFC, David Patterson said he is unaware of a joint meeting being held today to put together the Cabinet.
Rather, he said, “We have separate, internal meetings ongoing,” and when asked, he was adamant that, “before weekend, the Cabinet team should be ready.” The Coalition’s executive member, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, who is hailing from the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), another arm of the six -party Coalition, told Demerara Waves that, it is “hoped” that the main sides could meet today to discuss the coming together of the Cabinet.
Roopnarine, who is touted to be the next Natural Resource Minister, explained that he is Mahdia, Region Eight, where a number of miners are trapped in a mining pit and others injured. While he is not clear on what is currently happening in the city, he said that moves to put together the Cabinet are ongoing.
The Coalition is expected- to some extent-, scale down on possibly the number of ministries and its numerous arms so as to centralize functions. APNU’s General Secretary and acting Presidential Secretary Joseph Harmon told the online site that currently the issue of sizing down is not prominent since the workload is massive. “It will, be addressed, but right now we have much more important things to do,” he opined.
Patterson stated that the Coalition is interested in “consolidating” light ministries. The purpose is to reduce the number of branches, making them easier to track.
President David Granger had expressed that, “a more muscular government” is needed, where there would be fewer ministries. It was mentioned that some new ministries may arise depending on what the requirements of the nation are.
Granger had stated however that ministries with more economic focuses are necessary.
Following the 2015 General and Regional Elections held May 11, the APNU+AFC came out victorious with the leader, Retired Brigadier David Granger being sworn in President May 15. The Coalition managed to oust the 23-year reigning People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and claim a majority in Parliament and to also lead the State’s executive arm.
The Coalition holds 33 seats in Parliament while, the PPP has 32.