TOURISM Minister, Oneidge Walrond, and Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, were sworn in as unelected members of the National Assembly on Wednesday. Singh and Walrond are therefore considered technocrats, which makes them not eligible to vote on matters that arise in the House. This is because their names were not nominated on the political party’s list of candidates, leading up to the General and Regional elections.
Walrond was previously sworn in on August 5, 2020 as Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, after which she was sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) on September 1. However, because of her dual citizenship, her appointments were deemed as improper. She was forced to resign and was properly re-appointed on Wednesday.
The Attorney-at-Law has several years of practice. Prior to the March 2020 elections, she was nominated for the position of Chairperson for the Guyana Elections Commission. Walrond, whose nomination was deemed “unfit” by the previous APNU+AFC Coalition, also served as an adviser to the then Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes.
Dr. Ashni Singh had been at the helm of the Finance Ministry for two consecutive terms under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government (2006 – 2015).
Before becoming Finance Minister, Dr. Singh served as Guyana’s Deputy Auditor General and Director of Budget within the Ministry of Finance. Dr. Singh was also Chairman of the Board of the Guyana Revenue Authority and a member of the Governing Council of the University of Guyana.
Singh is also the holder of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Lancaster, UK.