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Harmon fired because he cannot work with new President

Last Updated on Friday, 14 August 2020, 7:24 by Denis Chabrol

Mr. Joseph Harmon has been fired from his post as Director-General of the Office of the President because the public service does not have such a position in its structure and he cannot take instructions from the new President, Irfaan Ali.

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall made this known to Mr. Harmon in his letter of dismissal dated August 13, 2020.

“Having regard to the nature of the job which you were engaged to execute and did in fact execute, it is no longer possible or practical for you to execute those tasks under the new government,” Mr. Nandlall told the former Minister of State. Mr. Harmon’s contract included taking instructions directly from the President, attending Cabinet, holding weekly post-Cabinet news briefings.

Mr. Harmon had been removed from the post of Minister of State after the Courts had ruled that it is unconstitutional for dual citizens to be members of Parliament. He was subsequently appointed Director-General and, according to the Attorney General, performed virtually the same functions which is not possible with the swearing in of Dr. Ali as the new President of Guyana. “Expectedly, those tasks ended upon the swearing in of the new President. You must appreciate that your contract contemplates its instantaneous termination upon the new government assuming office,” the Attorney General states.

He also told Mr. Harmon, in his dismissal letter, that the post of Director-General was created due to “political expediency” and the “new government lacks confidence in you” and he lost his job when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) took over the reins of government.

Mr. Nandlall also told Mr. Harmon that he appeared to have agreed with the decision by the former President David Granger to relieve him of the post of Director-General. Back in April 2020, Mr. Harmon had been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the COVID-19 Task Force.


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