President David Granger has denied the assertions made by the Working People’s Alliance (WPA)- one of the parties that comprises the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition Government- that they are being sidelined.
“Every party in the APNU is represented so there has been no sidelining of any one of the parties,” Granger told media officials on Wednesday morning at an event at State House.
The Head of State also refuted claims made by the WPA that no consultations were held with the party.
On Monday last, Executives of the WPA during a press briefing shared, among other things, their concern that they, as well as other parties, are being sidelined by the current APNU/AFC government in their decision-making processes.
WPA’s announcement came days after it was announced that Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, an Executive member of the party, would be removed from his substantive position as the Education Minister and reassigned to the re-established department of Public Service within the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP).
Executive member of the WPA, Dr David Hinds had stated that the party had not been consulted about Roopnarine’s reassignment, nor were they ever consulted after Government won the 2015 General Elections.
“The WPA was not consulted after the Coalition won, there was no meeting between the WPA and the Coalition or the President in which it was said to us ‘look, we’re now in government, WPA is entitled to one minister or whatever the case, who is your nominee?’ we were not afforded that opportunity,” he had maintained.
According to the President however, “Dr Roopnarine was the Prime Ministerial candidate at my side throughout the 2011 campaign. He sat down in Parliament throughout the 10th Parliament. We campaigned together so he was always seen to be and deemed to be representing the Working People’s Alliance.”
Granger further expressed disappointment that the WPA would take to the media to air their concerns, while positing his belief that “the business of the coalition could not be efficiently and effectively transacted in the media.”
It was only recently that President Granger came under scrutiny by the Opposition Leader Dr Bharat Jagdeo for not holding press conferences with the with media.
The Guyana Press Association (GPA) had also called on the President to host press conferences to answer questions about his Government’s policies and programmes.
The GPA had acknowledged that the President was not averse to speaking with the media on the sidelines of public events or during his “Public Interest” televised programme; however, the Association believes that accountability to the Guyanese people would be best served through press conferences.
Jagdeo had called out the Government for not dealing with critical issues like job creation for people, circulation of money, more income for businesses, and better prospects for Guyana.
“When have you heard the Government speak about those things… all of these issues? And the President hides from the media, so you can’t get to explore these matters,” he lamented.