Ramkarran says new Gov’t post not in breach of joinder list agreement
Leader of A New and United Guyana (ANUG) Ralph Ramkarran says his new role in the People’s Progressive Party Government is not in breach of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) his party signed with two others when they agreed to join their lists to contest the March 2 general and regional elections.
The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM) had joined their lists to contest the polls and signed an MoU which stated that its members elected to the National Assembly cannot join with the governing party to obtain ministerial or other government office or to give the minority government a majority.
“The parties agree that under no circumstances will they join the Government of the Party that obtains the plurality of majority for the purpose of obtaining ministerial or other Governmental office or to give a minority Government a majority,” section six of the MoU states.
On Saturday, the Office of the President announced that Lenox Shuman – leader of the LJP was appointed as an Advisor to the Minister of Public Works on Civil Aviation while Ramkarran was appointed as an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on border issues.
But Ramkarran told the News Room Saturday that this section of the MoU would have only applied if the PPP was a minority Government.
“That was meant for a situation where no political party obtained an absolute majority and one of our parties join in support of that party that obtains the plurality – that is the largest number of votes – to give it a majority. That wasn’t meant for positions like these,” Ramkarran told the News Room during a telephone interview.
He does not believe his new advisory role with the PPP Government breaches the MoU.
“That situation doesn’t arise here; the PPP has an absolute majority and that clause was meant for a situation where no party has an absolute majority,” the ANUG leader emphasised.
The joinder list managed to garner 5,214 votes to give them one seat in the National Assembly; this seat will be taken up by Shuman and will be rotated with the other parties.
Ramkarran made it clear that he informed ANUG a week ago about the offer to become an advisor and he received no objections. He could not say if Shuman did the same.
Ramkarran explained that has been on the ministerial advisor team since 1994 and served under the former APNU+AFC Government.
Meanwhile, Ramkarran also opined that Shuman’s parliamentary seat does not conflict with his role as a Government advisor on the civil aviation sector.
Numerous efforts made by the News Room to contact Shuman proved futile.