Weeks after he was demoted from Education Minister and placed to work within the Ministry of the Presidency, Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Executive Member, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine has resigned from both Parliament and Government.
President David Granger on Wednesday confirmed that he did receive a resignation letter from the WPA co-leader, but is yet to make a determination, as the former Education Minister could only resign if his letter was approved by the Head of State.
“I received a letter from Dr Roopnaraine, the contents of which I will not disclose. But he cannot resign until I accept a resignation, and as far as I am concerned, I have not done so.”
As of now, Dr Roopnaraine remains a member of Cabinet, the President assured.
Guyana Times understands that the letter was given to the President on Sunday after WPA executives met with Roopnaraine.
On Wednesday, WPA Executive Member, Dr David Hinds told this publication that the party was fully consulted on Dr Roopnaraine’s decision.
“We met with him and after listening to his reasons, we agreed with his decision to resign from Government. In the final analysis, it is Dr Roopnaraine’s decision to make and he has made that decision and the party supports his decision,” Hinds told this newspaper.
He said the party would hold on to the reasons given by Roopnaraine for his resignation for now and await the conclusion of a meeting the President has with the WPA co- leader.
According to Hinds, he could not say if the President, who was expected to meet with Roopnaraine on Wednesday, would be able to influence him to change his mind.
“What I can say is that he (Dr Roopnaraine) was very firm in his decision to resign. What happens when he meets with the President, that is a matter for him and the President, but I can tell you that he was very firm in his decision to leave Government.”
With Roopnaraine’s resignation, Government will need to replace a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly. Hinds said the WPA hoped that with the President’s stated commitment to the inclusion of all coalition party members in Government that a request would be made for a WPA replacement. He said the party was prepared for such.
What seemed to be a small falling-out between the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the WPA came to the fore days after President Granger announced in June that the former Education Minister had been asked to head the Public Service Ministry, a new ministry created within the Ministry of the Presidency.
The WPA had raised concerns that the move by Government was a premature one and the party was never consulted on the matter. It had also asked that Dr Roopnaraine be vindicated, following the results of the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), which showed a stark improvement in the critical areas of Mathematics and English. The President had said that Roopnaraine was re-assigned to lead improvements in the Public Sector.
It is not clear if the Minister’s demotion was the reason for his resignation.