No Gov’t employee fired; political appointees urged to do the dignified thing and resign
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira on Friday clarified that no person who worked under the David Granger administration has been relieved of their job by the new People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government.
She said the Irfaan Ali administration, however, expects that political appointees under the previous administration will do the honourable and dignified thing and hand over state assets in their position and resign.
“We want to assure all our people…that we are not here to take away food from people’s mouth, we are not here to take away public servants jobs who have been working hard… we are not dealing with public servants,” Teixeira said in a virtual briefing on the Facebook page of the Office of the President.
She warned, however, that political appointees have been persuaded to resign and if they fail to do so by next week, they will receive letters of termination.
“We are asking them to resign and if they do not, they will be getting letters of termination. We are not going to be bullied. At the same time, we have given them a week to do what is right and from Monday they will receive letters,” she said.
The Minister said Mr Frederick McWilfred and Dr Mark Kirton, both political appointees under the David Granger government, have already resigned and handed over state property but she said resistance continues to come from several others to do the same.
She singled out Carol Joseph who defended the coalition during the tabulation of elections results and who participated in the recount exercise; Attorney-at-law, Geeta Chandan – Edmond who was a candidate on the coalition’s elections list, and Ronald Backer; they were all appointed as advisors to Joseph Harmon, who was the Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency.
The Minister also revealed that Chandon – Edmond and Joseph Harmon have both applied for 42 days leave.
Teixeira and the PPP Government took particular objection to a statement by former President David Granger earlier on Friday in which Granger warned the PPP against pursuing public servants and former Ministers of his Government.
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said she found Mr. Granger’s language to be quite disturbing in which he called on the PPP to desist from its pattern of aggression and referenced persons who served in his administration being dismissed and treated badly.
“The comments are disturbing and we cannot leave them hanging…a former President coming with that language… we are not going to be preached to by those whose records are now up for examination,” she added.
Teixeira said while Ministers automatically lose their jobs with a change in government and should vacate government premises, political appointees are also expected to do the dignified and democratic thing and follow suit.
“What we have seen here is that Ministers are no longer Ministers and they have vacated their offices and they are expected to hand over state property and assets… cars, offices, residences and other properties,” she added.
Teixeira said just as Mr. Granger has given up state assets willingly and walked, he should encourage his political appointees to do the same.
“We are not the ones looking for a fight, tell your appointees under your government to do the honorable thing and hand over… but it is looking like its bully season.”