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Granger defends Cabinet of few young persons

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015, 21:44 by GxMedia

Left to Right: Junior Minister of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma; Junior Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe; Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman; Minister of Business, Hans Gaskin; Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock; 2nd Vice President and Minister of Public Security; President David Granger; Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo; Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder; Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Keith Scott and Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix.

President David Granger on Friday defended the establishment of a cabinet of older persons, saying that several junior ministers have been appointed to understudy their older colleagues who are experienced in various fields.

“I think that we have an important balance of experience. You can’t fake experience. We need the experience,” he told reporters following the swearing-in of additional ministers all of whom do not fit the description of youths.

During the campaign for the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections, the A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition had touted a youth and women agenda, even going to great lengths to hold special rallies for those two segments of the voting population.

Opposition associates had estimated that at least 60 percent of eligible voters were between 18 and 35 years.

President Granger observed that only two ministers have Cabinet experience and so a decision was taken to include other persons who possess experience in other fields to lead those ministries along with junior ministers. “You would have noticed there’s a significant number of junior ministers who will be under-studying them so what you see now will not what will exist in a few years from now,” he said.

The Guyanese leader argued that his cabinet team is made up of “a lot of young ministers” and “a lot of female ministers” who are being groomed. “We regard this Cabinet as a field not only to ensure that the government work is done better but also it provides an apprenticeship for younger and other ministers that is why almost every ministry has a junior minister,” he said.

Following the November 2011 general and regional elections, APNU had failed to keep its promise to rotate a number of parliamentarians to give youths an opportunity to serve in the legislature.