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Formally inviting PPP to talks can take time- Governance Minister

Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman

President David Granger is unlikely to formally invite the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) to join the government any time soon because there preliminary talks first have to be held, according to Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman.

Appearing on I-Radio’s Hard Talk, he said much would depend on backroom talks between the coalition administration and representatives of that opposition party.

“The way politics and diplomacy work, for the President of Guyana to write a formal invitation to the former President and have a rebuff will hurt our relations far more than if there were some backroom channels at work saying we want you to play a role,” he said.

“When there is something that is concretised then it is formalized but you don’t start off formally without knowing what the outcome is going to be,” he added. Ramotar recently said that he had not been formally invited to talks by Granger.

Trotman said he was aware of talks between government representatives and those of the PPP including the sharing of information between ministers of the new government and their predecessors.

At the same time, the Minister of Governance said the opposition would do well to take up its 32 seats in the National Assembly, participate in the work of the parliamentary committees, support constitutional reform and help develop Guyana.

The governing A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition’s campaign promises included inclusionary democracy in which untainted PPP members would be welcomed to join the government.

Even if the PPP were to agree to participate in the government, it is unclear whether it would be at the ministerial level because 14 senior ministerial and several other junior ministerial posts have been already shared out.

“It is ironic but at the PPP said ‘Yes’ to joining our coalition, we would have had to find space for them too and I dare say that the cabinet would have had to be larger because we would have to accommodate the PPP as well,” said Trotman.

The Governance Minister said while there are several junior ministers, President Granger was determined to keep the ministries to a minimum. “At the end of the day, the president’s intention is till to keep government as trim as possible,” said the minister.

In keeping with the 60-40 formula in the pre-election coalition agreement between APNU and AFC, he said the AFC got its fair share of senior ministerial appointments.