Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 June 2017, 16:50 by Denis Chabrol
Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine is no longer Minister of Education, and he has been replaced by Nicolette Henry, a move that has prompted grave concerns by the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), a partner in the governing coalition.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon made the announcement earlier Tuesday. “The President, David Granger this (Tuesday) morning at cabinet briefed cabinet that he has a discussion with Dr Roopnaraine yesterday (Monday) and after that discussion yesterday it was agreed that Dr Roopnaraine would be assigned from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of the Presidency with specific responsibility for the public service,” Harmon said.
Roopnaraine, who is a long-serving member of the WPA, has been in poor health for several months now.
Harmon said Minister within the Ministry of Education, Minister Nicolette Henry will continue to perform the functions of the office of Minister of Education until further notice.
WPA Executive Member, Professor David Hinds said President David Granger requested a meeting with the WPA made known the decision in a meeting with a representative of that party who attended those talks.
Hinds said he does not feel that his party was fully consulted on the shifting of Dr. Roopnaraine to be the Minister of Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency.
He said the WPA Executive has since requested a meeting with the Guyanese leader, but he declined to give “telegraph” what the party’s position would be in those talks. “The Executive has since met and we have decided to request an urgent meeting with the President to discuss the matter,” Hinds told Demerara Waves Online News. “We do have concerns about the manner in which the matter was handled,” said Hinds.
Hinds said the WPA was told that the matter was discussed with between the President and Dr. Roopnaraine and there “was a mutual agreement.” “We have not been able to verify that with Dr. Roopnaraine.”
In making the announcement, the Minister of State said the Department would be under the President himself. The appointment of Dr Roopnaraine in the Ministry of the Presidency will take effect from the 15th June, 2017. Dr Roopnarine will continue to be a member of cabinet and the National Assembly.