President off to Cuba; Ramjattan takes up PM role with Greenidge’s resignation
President David Granger left Guyana for Cuba on Tuesday morning as his office announced that he had accepted the resignations of four of his ministers who hold dual citizenship.
One of those Ministers is Second Vice President Carl Greenidge who would have performed the functions of the Prime Minister once he is in the country.
The substantive Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, is performing the functions of President while third Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan is performing the functions of Prime Minister.
The President, News Room understands, is due back in Guyana on April 20. After completing chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of cancer, the President will now undertake radiotherapy treatment. He is accompanied to Cuba by First Lady Sandra Granger.
A Parliamentary sitting is scheduled for April 11, at which time the Government is expected to name four new Members of Parliament to take up the seats that would be left vacant with the resignation of Ministers Greenidge, Joseph Harmon, Dominic Gaskin and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine.
The resignations of the Ministers came after the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision that, as dictated by the constitution, no one who holds dual citizenship is qualified to sit in the House.
It was the Government itself which had joined court action challenging the vote of Parliamentarian Charrandass Persaud on the grounds that he held dual citizenship.
Persaud was a Government Parliamentarian who voted with the Opposition in a No Confidence motion against the Government, forming a majority of 33 votes in the 65 seat House.
However, the Court of Appeal recently invalidated the No Confidence vote, ruling by way of a 2-1 majority that an “absolute” majority of 34 votes was needed for the passage of the motion.
The Government Tuesday afternoon announced that the four Ministers who resigned will be retained by the Government in other capacities that the President will decide.
Their posts will be taken by Cabinet Ministers who usually take up the roles whenever they were out of the country.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman is performing the functions of Minister of State.