THE sidelining of political parties forming part of the APNU+AFC coalition government has not occurred, President David Granger told reporters on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the swearing in of the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the President made it clear that despite allegations made by executive members of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), he has not sidelined any party or group. He noted too that he is not in the business of attacking his partners.
“We have not sidelined any party,” the President said reminding that the APNU was established on July 15, 2011 and comprise of the Guyana Action Party, Justice for All Party, National Front Alliance, Working People’s Alliance and People’s National Congress.
On Monday, WPA executive member, Tacuma Ogunseye, accused the President of sidelining his party since the coalition government took office in May 2015.
“The WPA believes that when it looks at the way the relationship unfolded, the WPA was more or less sidelined. There is no question about that…we feel that the end result, any objective examination will force you to come to that conclusion,” said Ogunseye.
However, the Head-of-State made it clear that he was careful in selecting persons to represent the APNU in the National Assembly. He noted that persons from the APNU, representing each party, holds a parliamentary post while pointing to Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott representing the National Front Alliance; Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma representing the Justice for All Party; Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock, a member of the Guyana Action Party and Minister of Public Service, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, of the WPA.
“…so every party in the APNU has been represented. There has been no sidelining of any one of the parties and I had the option to make a selection after the 16th May, 2015. I made a selection based on my commitment to inclusionary democracy and to ensure all members of the parties…”
Asked if he is concerned by the allegations made by some executive members of the WPA, the President said he is the leader of the coalition and it is not his business to attack his partners.
“I run a coalition and I do not attack my partners, I have not expressed any concern, I have not reacted but I know where we are going and I know the importance of the coalition to social cohesion and to inclusionary democracy and to the future of this country. I don’t believe the business of the coalition could be efficient and effectively transacted in the media and I don’t do business like that,” said President Granger.
The WPA has raised concerns over the manner in which Dr Roopnaraine was reassigned from the post of Minister of Education to that of Minister of Public Service by the President. The party contended that they were not consulted by the President on the matter and were only told of the reassignment after it took place, however this was denied by the government.
The WPA Executive Members met with President Granger last Saturday and has maintained that the party wants to play a meaningful role in the shaping of policies and vision of the two-year-old administration.