Jagdeo still consulting with technocrat ministers

Stabroek News
April 29, 2001

President Jagdeo is still not in a position to announce the four technocrats who will join his Cabinet. He told reporters on Thursday at the Office of the President that he was still consulting with the persons to fill the posts of attorney general and minister of legal affairs and ministers of economic planning, foreign affairs and tourism and industry.

Attorney general during the 1961 Cheddi Jagan administration, Dr Fenton Ramsahoye, now based in Trinidad and Tobago is rumored to be the favourite for that post. Dr Ramsahoye has an extensive practice in the Caribbean and is involved in election-related cases in Trinidad involving two government ministers.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rudy Insanally, a career diplomat, has been fingered as a possibility for the post of foreign minister.

Ambassador Insanally, who is currently in Guyana, has served the Forbes Burnham, Desmond Hoyte, Dr Cheddi Jagan, Samuel Hinds, Janet Jagan administrations as well as the present one in various ambassadorial posts. He also had the distinction of being elected to the presidency of the UN General Assembly.

A front runner for the post of Economic Planning minister, is Dr Kenneth King, a former PNC general secretary, who served as a minister in the Burnham administration. He left for a post with the United Nations and returned several years later to serve in the Desmond Hoyte administration.

He was approached by President Jagdeo, then finance minister, to coordinate with former Georgetown Mayor, Mavis Benn, and TUC consultant, Leslie Melville, the work of some 200 local professionals in the Guyanisation of the National Development Strategy (NDS). The NDS is the basis of the government's development programme.

Stabroek News understands that the African Cultural Development Association of which Dr King is a leading member opposed his acceptance of the post. However, it has not been possible to confirm this with Dr King who only recently returned to the country.

There has been no indication as to whom President Jagdeo is courting to take up the post of Tourism and Industry minister. The former minister, Geoff DaSilva, now heads an investment promotion agency. The shift was to allow the trade section of the portfolio to be incorporated into the newly-created Ministry of Foreign Trade which former foreign minister, Clement Rohee now heads.