Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2015, 21:52 by GxMedia
The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition this afternoon swore-in 15 persons who are to serve as ministers of government.
First up was the AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo who, taking over from predecessor Samuel Hinds, was sworn-in as Guyana’s Prime Minister. He will serve as one of three Vice Presidents under the current administration.
Kathy Hughes, also of the AFC, was sworn-in as Minister of Tourism, while George Norton, of APNU, was sworn in as Minister of Public Health. Hughes is taking over from Irfaan Ali while Norton has taken the reins from Bheri Ramsarran.
APNU’s Karen Cummings was sworn-in as Minister within the Public Health Ministry.
As was anticipated by many, APNU’s Basil Williams was sworn-in as Guyana’s newest Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs.
APNU’s Carl Greenidge, who held the port folio of Shadow Finance Minister when the APNU was in the opposition was today sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs, while APNU’s Ronald Bulkhan, formerly the Shadow Minister of Local Government, was sworn-in as Guyana’s first Minister of Communities. This new ministry joins what was formerly known as the Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Housing under one umbrella. Greenidge is taking over from Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett. Bulkhan is taking the reins from former Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker and former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali.
APNU ‘s Amna Ali, who served as shadow Minister of Education, was sworn-in as Guyana’s first Minister of Social Cohesion, while Volda Lawrence, who served as APNU’s Shadow Minister of Human Services, will was sworn-in as Guyana’s first Minister Social Protection. Social Activist Simona Broomes will serve as a Minister within this Ministry.
Many had speculated that Ali would have been appointed Education Minister, but this post was given to now sworn Education Minister, Rupert Roopnaraine. Nicolette Henry, another new face, Nicolette Henry, was sworn-in as the Minister within the Health Ministry.
An unfamiliar face to the Guyanese public will be that of Winston Jordan who is now Guyana’s sworn Minister of Finance. He takes over from Ashni Singh. It was speculated that Greenidge would have been appointed to this position. However, President David Granger has said that Greenidge was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister because “we intend to have a greater economic focus on foreign affairs. More economic diplomacy coming out of the min of foreign affairs.”
Meanwhile, the AFC’s David Patterson is now Guyana’s sworn Minister of Public Infrastructure. Annette Furguson was sworn in as a Minister within the same Ministry.
Commenting on his newest officers following the swearing-in, President David Granger said “there has been changes not only in name but also in personnel because we hope that the personnel will bring new talents to the new positions.” The last administration was served by 21 ministers.
Granger is looking to reduce this number. Considering that some areas may be left unattended Granger said “any function not specifically assigned to a minister for eg. Defence, will remain with the Ministry of the Presidency.”