Breaking: Rupert Roopnaraine resigns; Granger yet to accept

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, 10:26 by Denis Chabrol

FLASH BACK: President David Granger and Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine greet each other at D’Urban Park during the 2016 Education Month Rally.

About one month after Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine was removed from the post of Minister of Education, he has resigned from ministerial office, but Presiodent David Granger said Wednesday he is yet to accept it. “I received a letter from Dr. Roopnaraine, the contents of which I will not disclose but he cannot resign until I have accepted a resignation and as far as I am concerned, I have not done so,” he told reporters.

The Guyanese leader said Roopnaraine remains a member of the Cabinet.

“I have to meet with Dr. Roopnaraine to discuss certain matters with him and when those discussions are ended if he wishes to speak with the media he speak with the media but right now Dr. Roopnaraine remains a member of the Cabinet,” Granger said.

A new ministerial post- Minister of Public Service- was created for the co-leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), but his party said he had not been provided with any facilities or specific terms of reference up to two weeks ago.

Well-placed sources said the veteran politician decided to give up ministerial office, citing his poor health condition. That resignation was dispatched to President Granger on Sunday, but so far the Guyana government has not said anything.

Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs said the Parliament Office has not received a resignation from Dr. Roopnaraine.

Within the last 18 months, the 74-year old Roopnaraine had been hospitalised on more than one occasion. He had also collapsed once at a reception held at the British High Commissioner’s residence.

Roopnaraine has been a leading figure in Guyana’s politics especially in the WPA when that party had vowed to remove the then People’s National Congress (PNC)-led administration of Forbes Burnham.

Over the last three decades, Roopnaraine has been instrumental in forging and promoting alliance politics. He was a leading light alongside Granger in the 2011 elections that had seen the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) losing its grip on  power for the first time since 1992. At the 2015 elections, Roopnaraine was also fierce campaigner that led to the PPPC’s defeat.

The WPA has maintained that it had not been properly consulted before Dr. Roopnaraine was removed from as Minister of Education. That party has since disputed claims of Roopnaraine’s poor performance are flawed especially considering the excellent results of the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment.

The executive of A Partnership for National Unity of which the WPA and the PNC-Reform are the more prominent political parties is expected to meet this month for the first time in almost two years. Topping the agenda is the WPA’s claim that there is an absence of consultation since the APNU’s leadership councils have not been meeting since the 2015 election victory.