Internet Radio

Government to meet, assess Guyana IDB representative

Zulfikar Ally

by Zena Henry

As the new government continues to assess their foreign representatives, Finance Minister Winston Jordan is slated to meet with Guyana’s Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative hours from now to determine whether he is the right man for the job.

It is unsure how long, Executive Director Zulfikar Ally has been serving in the capacity, representing Guyana and the Caribbean, but if his appointment to the post was not based on a merit system, then he is likely to go.

Jordan told Demerara Waves Saturday May 23 that he expects to meet Ally on Monday to determine the way forward as it relates to his job. With the new government aiming to undo what they say were political appointments and acts of nepotism among others, Jordan said, “If it (Ally’s appointment) was political… I rather suspect we will remove the person.”

Jordan said, “In these positions, it is customary to make an assessment of individuals once the new government comes in, and based on that assessment you either allow them to stay or you remove them.”

The Finance Minister pointed out that in 1992 when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government came into power they promptly removed the late Mr. Clarence Ellis who was then the Executive Director of the very same IDB.

Jordan said it was not to say that Ellis was contrary to the government of the day, especially when he was the one to have informed the PPP-government that he was holding the position and trying to work in the interest of the country. Jordan said Ellis was still replaced.

He said that Ally was nominated by the former PPP Administration, and it would be prudent to, “examine and make the necessary assessment” of what he represents.

The IDB is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. Ally is the Executive Director for the Caribbean Constituency on the IDB Board of Directors. Every constituent is given a turn to be on the Board and since Guyana’s turn came around, the PPP nominated him.

The position is very significant since, that person promotes the interest of the countries within the Caribbean Constituency, “So that person has to be extremely knowledgeable about the Caribbean and its issues and knowledgeable of the issues in each of the territory,” Jordan explained.

The representative serves two years as an alternate and two years as the Director.

Jordan said he will be making further checks to ascertain the location of other representatives; for instance the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These other reps will also have to be assessed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said after his swearing-in that a significant number of Guyanese Ambassadors were political appointees with no diplomatic background. He said these persons would have to be recalled. In some cases, foreign reps have resigned on their own.