Cabinet shakeup: Broomes, Yearwood reassigned from Natural Resources, Housing

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 April 2019, 17:59 by Writer

Minister Simona Broomes

Guyana’s President David Granger on Thursday announced a cabinet reshuffle in keeping with a High Court ruling that lawmakers with dual citizenship is unconstitutional.

Simona Broomes has been removed from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, from the Ministry of Housing.

Annette Ferguson is no longer Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure. She has been shifted to the Ministry of Communities, presumably to replace Patterson-Yearwood.

Hemraj Ramkumar replaces Dominic Gaskin as Minister of Business.

No Minister has yet been named to replace Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge.

Following is the full text of President Granger’s address to the nation in which he announced the Cabinet reshuffle.

Fellow Guyanese,

The Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is the country’s supreme law. Adherence to the Constitution is an essential element of democratic governance and the maintenance of public trust. Your Government is committed to upholding the Constitution unreservedly.

The Chief Justice, in the case of Compton Reid v. Speaker of the National Assembly et al, declared, on 31st January 2019, that it was unconstitutional for a person holding dual citizenship to be elected as a Member of Parliament. This ruling was affirmed by a majority decision of the Court of Appeal on 22nd March 2019.

I have a duty to ensure that the Government acts in accordance with the Constitution at all times.  I have, in accordance with the Courts’ rulings, accepted the resignations of Mr. Carl Greenidge, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Business; Mr Joseph Harmon, Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Minister of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency. These resignations take effect on 25th April 2019.

I thank these Ministers for their stewardship as members of my Cabinet and of the National Assembly since May 2015. Their sterling public service has been to our nation’s benefit.

The resignations of these Ministers have created vacancies in the Cabinet and the National Assembly. It is necessary, in the circumstances, for their ministerial responsibilities to be reassigned and for the transfer of some junior ministers. I now announce the following appointments:

  • Mr Hemraj Ramkumar, as Minister of Business;
  • Mrs Dawn Hastings-Williams as Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency; and
  • Mrs Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, as Minister of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency.

I announce, also, the reassignment of junior ministers as follows:

  • Ms Annette Ferguson, as Minister in the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing;
  • Mrs Simona Charles-Broomes as Minister in the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for Youth Affairs; and
  • Mrs Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, as Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for Rural Affairs.

I assure you that these appointments and reassignments will ensure your Government’s continued commitment to serve our people and the nation.