…as Phillips sworn in as PM; Nandlall AG & Teixeira Governance Minister
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo has taken up a prominent role in the new People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, serving as Vice President of Guyana.
He was appointed by President Dr Irfaan Ali during a simple ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Sunday shortly after the elections declaration was made by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Also taking the oath of office was former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips who will serve as the country’s Prime Minister.
Anil Nandlall has returned as Guyana’s Attorney General while Gail Teixeira was appointed Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance.
They are all members of the Government’s transition team.
Jagdeo as Vice President
Jagdeo, who served as President from 1999 to 2011, will be heading the Irfaan Ali-led Government transition team, which will, in the coming week, work towards a full transition of power with the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition.
Speaking with the media following the appointment, Jagdeo explained that he did not want to return, in an official capacity, to Government.
“Frankly speaking, I did not want to [take up the post] …maybe I wouldn’t have been had we had an immediate transition,” he explained.
“But given the reality of what took place, the pandemic and then the collapse of economy and this attitude of bullyism, I think the experience I have must be deployed in a formal way…,” Jagdeo pointed out, noting that in the past, he was more inclined to serve in an informal advisory capacity.
Going forward, the former Opposition Leader said the PPP/C will now have to work towards creating an environment that will be conducive of working together.
“It didn’t have to be this way; we could have had a transition to a new Govt based on the results of the elections five months ago and create an atmosphere that could have been conducive to working together,” Jagdeo stated.
But he explained that notwithstanding the difficulties, the PPP/C will have to find a way to work together.
However, he noted that, at the same time, “people are not going to forgive us if we don’t ensure that some people who have stolen resources wantonly from the treasury, if they are not brought to account.”
In this regard, the PPP/C General Secretary expressed that “we have to pursue that accountability in a professional way, objective way, not a vindictive way.”
Speaking about the priorities of the new Government, he explained that the country’s economy is under stress and therefore the Administration will have to find a way to get people back to work and get businesses back to making money while at the same time, helping those who have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transition requires cooperation
Meanwhile, Teixeira, who has a wealth of knowledge on parliamentary and governance affairs, told <<<Guyana Times>>> during an interview that transition has to do a lot with cooperation. And, she explained that in 2015, when the PPP/C had to demit office, the party was cooperative.
“We would (hope) that would be reciprocated,” she expressed.
Regarding the next steps hereon, the former presidential adviser admitted that “we have an awful lot of work to do”.
Apart from ensuring the PPP/C fulfil its many manifesto promises, Teixeira pointed out that the top priority would be to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana.
Ali, during an interview with the media following his official swearing-in, explained that later this week, there will be an inauguration function where he will announce his full Cabinet, and explain, in a comprehensive manner, the way forward for Guyana.