Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, 12:49 by Denis Chabrol
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) on Wednesday said Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine resigned in consultation with that party’s executives and cautioned that if another party member is not appointed a minister, it would be unable to influence policy-making inside government.
“If it is not given space, it cannot influence policy-making from the inside. It will then have to influence policy making from the outside and I think in the final analysis that defeats the purpose of being in government,” WPA executive member, Dr. David Hinds told Demerara Waves Online News. In the absence of the WPA’s presence in Cabinet, he said it would be “very, very difficult” for his party to shape policies and programmes for Guyana.
Hinds made it clear that his party was not demanding a ministerial post but hoped that President David Granger would stick to his position that each party in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) would be assigned a cabinet and ministerial seat. “We want to make it very clear that we are not fighting down for a position. We are saying that, based on what the President has said, we would assume that that is the course of action he would take and we are awaiting such a call from the President,” he said.
Hinds explained that WPA executive members participated in Dr. Roopnaraine’s decision to resign from his newly-appointed post of Minister of the Public Service and as a parliamentarian. “We supported Dr. Roopnaraine’s decision after a very serious and in-depth discussion with him and given his reasons that he pointed out to us, we supported fully his decision to resign from government and parliament,” he said. Hinds declined to immediately disclose the reasons to the media until after the President digests the correspondence and the party consults with the former government minister.
Well-placed sources have said Roopnaraine’s declining health was one of the major contributory factors.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs said Parliament Office has not received such communication.
Earlier Wednesday, the Guyanese leader confirmed that he has received a letter from the former Minister of Education but Roopnaraine remains a Cabinet member and until he accepts a resignation it would not take effect. However, Hinds said Roopnaraine would have to ultimately make the decision. “In the final analysis, one would think that the decision lies with Dr. Roopnaraine. Dr. Roopnaraine has the final decision on this. If the President doesn’t accept the resignation,” said Hinds.
The WPA executive member said Roopnaraine’s resignation would be most likely be discussed next Saturday at APNU’s first executive meeting in almost two years.
In the last few weeks, the WPA has registered its disgust with the apparent lack of consultation before the President decided to remove Dr. Roopnaraine from the post of Minister of Education.