By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman has defended the decision of President David Granger to appoint 26 ministers in the APNU+AFC government to manage some 16 ministries.
Under the previous administration, there were 20 ministers and 16 ministries but according to Trotman, it should be obvious that whenever there is a coalition government, it is a large one. He emphasized that the APNU was conglomerate of five parties and then the AFC joined.
“I believe it was difficult to keep ministers to a minimum. We’ve kept ministries to a minimum but at the end of the day, the President’s intention is to keep government as trim as possible,” Trotman said during his appearance on the radio programme ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday, May 31.
As it relates to the Ministry of Communities, which now has three ministers, Trotman explained that it encompasses Local Government, Housing and Water; therefore one Minister alone cannot handle such a huge responsibility.
“The wisdom dictated that one person that would be Senior Minister [Ronald] Bulkan could not administer such a large remit because it may have a nice name but certainly it is one of the largest and most powerful ministries in the cabinet…Wisdom dictated that he had support and I support the President’s appointment of two additional ministers. As time passes, people will begin to see that these decisions are not randomly made just for dispensing patronage,” Minister Trotman explained.
While this is the case, he noted that there are many other positions which need to be filled and the possibility exists that the government may have to recruit persons from overseas.
Meanwhile, the Minister clarified that there were many discussions and consultations held between the APNU and AFC before and after appointments by the President.
He debunked reports that the APNU did not honour the Cummingsburg Accord which dictated that there is a 60/40 split in the Cabinet. The AFC currently has eight members in Cabinet and APNU 19.
In this regard, Trotman clarified that not all ministers are members of cabinet, pointing out that the junior ministers do not make up the cabinet.