Minister Henry apologises for inconvenience caused from Opposition walk-out


In a press statement issued today, Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicollete Henry,  apologised for any inconvenience or distress caused as a result of the incident where the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) were forced to walk out of the Independence Flag Raising Ceremony on the evening of May 25, due to what the party claimed was a deliberate attempt to disrespect its members.

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and other PPP/C MPs leaving tonight's flag raising ceremony which is still ongoing
Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and other PPP/C MPs leaving the Flag Raising Ceremony which is still ongoing

On Wednesday, after accepting Government’s invitation to attend the historic flag raising ceremony to usher in Guyana’s 50th Independence, at D’urban Park on Homestretch Avenue, the Opposition PPP/C, left about 45 minutes after arriving.

The Opposition said it was assured that seating accommodations would be available for the 32 People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Members of Parliament (MPs) and their spouses. However, this was not the case when they arrived. They were seen waiting for a lengthy period to even enter the VIP stand, where the MPs and other VIP guests were supposed to be seated.

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jadgeo, was seen speaking to Attorney General, Basil Williams, and Minister Henry, about the concerns of the PPP/C MPs being seated.

Jagdeo turned away 4The PPP/C MPs claimed that as they waited to be seated, scores of other persons, some casually dressed – some in short pants and t-shirts – at a formal event, were seen being seated in the VIP area. Those seated included Mr. C.N. Sharma and others.

The PPP/C MPs who arrived together for the flag raising ceremony, left together. Former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, was also among them.


However, Minister Henry’s recollection of the events which led to the walk-out is somewhat different.

Here is the full statement by Minister Nicolette Henry:

Flag Raising – Opposition Walk Out

Minister within the Education Ministry, , Nicolette Henry
Minister within the Education Ministry, , Nicolette Henry

Background – The Parliamentary Opposition was invited to all state events and confirmed their attendance to the Flag Raising ceremony. After accepting the invitation the opposition was briefed orally by Minister Henry on Tuesday 24 May, 2016 on the following:

  1. Time of Arrival – All members were requested to be seated by 9:45 pm
  2. Entrance to be used – North Western (Homestretch /Vlissengen Road)
  3. Seating Arrangements – Opposition Leader will be seated in Presidential Section with all other past Presidents and Prime Ministers. All other PPP members will be seated in the other VIP section.

Questions Arising:

  1. Was the President Speaking?

Response – No

  1. Who will be speaking?

Response – No keynote speakers, the announcement for National awards will be done by Col. Abraham.

  1. Where will the Opposition Leader be seated?

Response – In the Presidential Section.

  1. How many persons could be admitted with a ticket?

Response – Maximum of two.

  1. Opposition Leader could not find his invitation.

Response – The Opposition Leader will be admitted without his invitation. All protocols and courtesies befitting his office will be extended.

What Happened on the night of May 25.

  1. Time of Arrival – 9. 55
  2. Entrance Used – The Opposition approached the South Western entrance (Hadfield Street)

Had it not been for the police insistence on using the North Western entrance this would have resulted in the Opposition and President arriving on the tarmac at the same time?

  1. Seating Arrangements – a. The following persons proceeded to the Presidential Section:

Hon. Bharrat Jagdeo, MP·

Mr. Irfaan Ali, MP·

Mr. Anil Nandlall, MP·

Juan Edghill,, MP·

Mr. Clement Rohee,MP·

  1. The remaining members remained standing in the passage as Ms. Manickchand indicated they will only sit when they can be assigned seats together. (This was told to the usher)


  1. There are those of you who are mere PUPPETS,not thinking for yourselves.Instructions were laid out by Junior Minister of Education Nicolette Henry to be followed,by the PPP members of Parliament,which were not adhered to,for the Flag-raising Ceremony.Thus the deliberate confusion.Protocol informs me,that you must be on time as stipulated by invitation to attend any CEREMONY,orally or otherwise.

  2. Many like you don’t only have your name on your business they make the news headlines, many of you collect from the pantries all over Richmond hill and you live and drive the best but you hide the food stamps and the benefit card when you in the supermarket, tell me does your business say WELCOME to the ZOO

  3. Shame on the new government that I supported. Playing politics on such a historical moment in Guyana’s history by not seating the opposition in an appropriate manner is a poor start on inclusiveness and may impact their judgement and integrity. Disappointment is an understatement; what’s next?

  4. As per David Hinds you fool your brothers have no vision they are as dumb as you and I do not see your name on any business –how come ? The welfare cheque is not enough I guess –another looser.I maybe a house stooge but I sell produce for money not ppl.

  5. What difference does it make moron the dummie minister put her own ppl in the seats that were reserved for members of the opposition regardless of which entrance they used no one should be sitting in those seats > moron can younimagine if the PPP had done this to that knuckle head for a minister –the place would be on fire—This woman is useless incompetent and dumb as one can be–

  6. Stooge! It’s because of house stooges like you they in opposition for life,sorry until next election. Even opposition will be very difficult for these loosers, The devil is finally finished,Guyanese will forever go foward and the spoil child dance they tried deserve an apology afterall what else can you do with SPOIL kids,ATTENTION Deficit disorder

  7. I don’t believe a word she says. It was a stage event to disrespect the opposition. Time is a healer.

  8. I believe,the PPP members used this invitation to attend the Flag Raising Ceremony for Political mileage.According to this alleged response from the Junior Minister of Education Nicolette Henry,the arrival time was 21;45 PM using the North/Western(Homestretch/Vlissengen Road) entrance,but they used the South/Western (Hadfield Street) entrance instead,and arrived at 21;55 PM.This WALKOUT may very well be a DELIBERATE attempt to give the WRONG impression.

  9. This woman is a stooge for the grangaa admin –she planned this whole thing and should be fired she is an embarrassment to the Guyanese people,how can such a dummy be a minister? Oh i see she has the card and she in one of the same with the dictator in chief.Its only a matter of time for the knuckle heads ramjaat ,nagaloloo and sugrim singh cut throat daughter be kicked to the curb its coming soon–


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