Nandranie Coonjah to replace Nigel Dharamlall in Parliament


Nandranie Coonjah, a PPP/C candidate from Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam), will replace Nigel Dharamlall in the National Assembly following his resignation.

If all goes as planned, she could be sworn in as a Member of Parliament at a sitting set for Thursday, July 20.

The News Room understands that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has written to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to have Ms. Coonjah’s name extracted from its list of candidates.

Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs confirmed that Dharamlall’s resignation was received and said a new Member of Parliament will be sworn in.

He told the News Room, when contacted on Tuesday, that the new Parliamentarian will be a woman, though he could not confirm her name.

Although Coonjah will replace Dharamlall in Parliament, it is not automatic that she will also take up the post of Local Government and Regional Development Minister, previously held by Dharamlall.

The ministerial replacement will have to be appointed and the Oath of Office administered through a separate procedure led by President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

He has not confirmed any Cabinet reshuffle; Anand Persaud currently heads the Ministry of Local Government but holds the substantive post of Minister within the Ministry.

Nandranie Coonjah

Ms. Coonjah is a food caterer, who has been recognized for her work with the school’s feeding programme and she is also a Commissioner on the Women and Gender Equality Commission. She previously served on the Regional Council.

She can replace Dharamlall because he too was chosen as a Parliamentarian for Region Two on the Geographic List of Candidates for the PPP in the 2020 General and Regional elections.

In Region Two, besides Dharamlall and Coonjah, the other geographical constituency candidates are Vilma De Silva, who currently serves as the Regional Chairman and Arnold Adams, the Prime Minister’s representative in the region.

Under Guyana’s electoral system, 25 of the 65 Members of Parliament are elected from the 10 geographical constituencies; the remaining 40 are pulled from the national top-up list.

Dharamlall’s resignation was announced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

The resignation follows allegations by a schoolgirl that she was raped by Dharamlall; but she later said she did not wish further action in the case. The Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently advised the Police that there is no case to proceed with.

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