Chandarpal chose to resign as minister
-- Office of the President
Guyana Chronicle
August 5, 2004

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THE Office of the President says former Agriculture Minister, Mr Navin Chandarpal, chose to resign in June last year and was not removed from the cabinet post.

In a statement Tuesday, it said certain sections of the media have attempted to distort the role of Mr Chandarpal, now a Presidential Adviser, and to undermine his personal and professional integrity.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, explained last week that Chandarpal is working pro-bono as Advisor on Sustainable Development and does not carry out the same functions as when he served as Presidential Adviser on Science, Technology and Environment, the statement said.

It said sections of the media have sought to interpret such a relationship to mean that he was removed as a minister and is not in a real working arrangement with the Office of the President.

“Such allegations are untrue”, the Office of the President declared.

It said Chandarpal had indicated to President Bharrat Jagdeo, “his preference to function in the area of Sustainable Development at a regional level as a follow-up to his previous contributions over several years as Chairman of the CARICOM Regional Task Force on Environment and Development, and Chairman of the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology”.

According to the statement, the President indicated that he would have preferred to have Chandarpal continue as a minister, but would respect his personal preference.

“The Office of the President wishes to make it very clear that Mr Chandarpal was not requested at any time whatsoever to resign as a minister, nor were there any issues of wrongdoing or malfunctioning on his part.

“Mr Chandarpal agreed at the time of his resignation to maintain a role as Adviser on Sustainable Development to the President but requested in the context of his intended Caribbean activities, to carry out such a function without a salary and without any administrative responsibilities”, the office said.

It said that since mid-2003, Chandarpal has been performing the functions in the way agreed.

“One of his major roles is serving as the Coordinator of the Cabinet-appointed Natural Resources and Environmental Advisory Committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.

“In this role he interacts on a regular basis with agencies, both local and foreign, on matters related to the implementation of policies and action plans in areas of natural resources and environmental management.”

The statement added that since the current arrangement took effect, he is also serving as Chairman of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean, a Caribbean-wide body affiliated to the Global Organisation and is providing services (not pro-bono) for the Caribbean implementation of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Plan of Action and for activities aimed at reducing risks to poor vulnerable communities in the Caribbean.