President of Guyana, Brigadier David Granger. (FILE)
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GEORGETOWN – President David Granger on Thursday announced a shake-up of his coalition government in keeping with the High Court ruling that it was unconstitutional for a person holding dual citizenship to be elected as a Member of Parliament.
In a brief radio and television broadcast, Granger said that his administration would adhere to the Guyana Constitution which he said “is an essential element of democratic governance and the maintenance of public trust”.
He told the nation that he intends to uphold the Constitution “unreservedly” and that the High Court in its ruling on January 31, when it upheld the opposition inspired motion of no confidence against his government had ruled that “it was unconstitutional for a person holding dual citizenship to be elected as a Member of Parliament”.
He said this aspect of the ruling was affirmed by a majority decision of the Court of Appeal last month.
Granger said as a result he has accepted the resignations of Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, the Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and the Minister of Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine.
He said these resignations become effective as of Thursday and that he wanted to thank them for “their stewardship as members of my Cabinet and of the National Assembly since May 2015.
“Their sterling public service has been to our nation’s benefit. The resignations of these Ministers have created vacancies in the Cabinet and the National Assembly. It is necessary, in the circumstances, for their ministerial responsibilities to be reassigned and for the transfer of some junior ministers,” he said.
Granger said that he was now appointing Haimraj Rajkumar, as Minister of Business; Dawn Hamstings-Williams as Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, as Minister of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency.
Granger also announced a reassignment of junior ministers with Annette Ferguson becoming the Minister in the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing; Simona Charles-Broomes as Minister in the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for Youth Affairs; and Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, as Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for Rural Affairs.
“I assure you that these appointments and reassignments will ensure your government’s continued commitment to serve our people and the nation,” he added.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is the country’s highest court, will on May 9 and 10 hear the appeals filed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo against the Court of Appeal ruling invalidating the motion of no confidence. (CMC)