Following concerns raised by Working People’s Alliance (WPA) on the reassignment of its member, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, President David Granger today (Saturday, June 17, 2017) hosted his first meeting with executive members of the party.
Dr. Roopnaraine had confirmed that while he was consulted on the move, his party was not consulted.
According to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon who was a part of the meeting, it “was about dealing with how we will consult and the way forward. The President did, in fact, explain that the way the Coalition Government is structured is that there are representatives of the parties in the Cabinet and in the National Assembly, and it is really a responsibility of the representatives of that party in the Cabinet [and National Assembly] to ensure that they keep the [party members and] the executives briefed on what is taking place in the Government.”
Dr. Roopnaraine was reassigned to the Ministry of Public Service under the Ministry of the Presidency on Tuesday (June 13, 2017) at Cabinet meeting. He will also oversee a department which will reform the education sector, leaving now Education Minister, Nicolette Henry to manage the day-to-day activities of that Ministry.
Harmon said the WPA remains committed to the coalition. “Quite contrary to what some people out there are saying, the WPA is a very strong part of the partnership and a very strong part of our coalition Government,” he said.
Minister Harmon also implied that the decisions taken were as a result of the Commission of Inquiry into the Education sector which was recently concluded.
“The COI [Commission of Inquiry into the Education Sector] pointed to that fact and what the President extracted out of that was that what was needed was some entity, which did not burden the Minister of Education in dealing with matters going forward; innovation, reforms and so on, in the education sector. So His Excellency recommended that we create a department that will oversee these initiatives and so this is how that came up, and in fact, [during] the meeting, this morning, they recognised that too,” he explained.
Attending the meeting for the WPA were Dr. Clive Thomas, Dr. David Hinds, Dr. Wazir Mohammed, Dr. Rishi Thakur, Ms. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Mr. Desmond Trotman, Mr. Tacuma Ogunseye, Mr. Jinnah Rahaman and Mr. Mazarool Ekbaal Ali Majeed. Accompanying the President, along with Minister Harmon, were Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams and Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally.