Dharamlall rape allegation: Anand Persaud heading Local Gov’t Ministry until probe completed

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With the substantive Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into rape allegations levelled against him, his junior Anand Persaud is currently heading the ministry.

Persaud has served as the Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development since 2020.

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that Persaud has since assumed the responsibility of the ministry.

Asked if Dharamlall has also been given any leave from the People’s Progressive Party Civic pending the outcome of the investigations, Jagdeo responded in the negative.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall

He, however, noted that Dharamlall has not attended any party meetings since allegations against him surfaced last week.

Meanwhile, Jagdeo reiterated the government’s intolerance of any misconduct. He, however, refrained from offering additional comments, opting instead to let the legal and investigative processes outlined in the Sexual Offences Act to unfold.

Dharamlall was arrested on Monday and subsequently released on $1 million station bail as investigations continue. Additionally, the politician proceeded on administrative leave this week in light of the allegations that he raped a 16-year-old schoolgirl in December 2022.

The allegation, which first surfaced last week on social media, has sparked public outrage with calls for Dharamlall to resign.

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