Navin Chandarpal has been returned as Presidential Advisor. This puts him back at the Office of the President, from where he was fired by then President Bharrat Jagdeo following a bitter quarrel that embarrassed the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
The new President, Donald Ramotar, has appointed Chandarpal as his advisor on Sustainable Development, Science and Technology. It was a position he held for years before being fired by Jagdeo.
Jagdeo publicly accused Chandarpal, a stalwart within the governing party, of mouthing party business at rum shops, and of being incompetent.
But Chandarpal had fired back, saying Jagdeo was into “gutter politics.”
The public row between the two erupted over the President’s remark that if the process to choose the Presidential Candidate of the ruling party is to be done by secret ballot, this could be “dangerous as candidate hopefuls could promise persons things in order to get their votes.”
Chandarpal, who also served as Jagdeo’s Agriculture Minister, took offence at the President’s remark. He was fired by the President in December 2009.
“I am not accustomed to gutter politics,” Chandarpal shot back in a letter to the press.
He said he remained proud of his contributions in the field of sustainable development and he was humbly appreciative of the expressions of appreciation by “the people who matter in Guyana, the Caribbean and beyond.”
Chandarpal said he was not fired because of “non-performance,” but rather because he was accused of being openly critical of Jagdeo.
“It seems as though my ‘non-performance’ has been this speaking up in the internal forums when I did not agree with the views and actions of others regardless of their official status,” he declared.
Touching on the President’s remark about him being in rum shops, Chandarpal said that like most Guyanese, he socializes in public places with his friends and enjoys running into old friends and acquaintances of all walks of life.
“I do not hide and have nothing to hide. Maybe, in this new period of Exquisite Hangouts for the more financially endowed, the status of the places where everyone else hangs out has been downgraded to rum shops. I prefer to be surrounded by the average Guyanese than by the new elites,” he declared.
Chandarpal said that he could not be accused of being bitter and vindictive, saying the “vindictive part has to be an attempt at a joke.”
“Every Guyanese knows who is the most vindictive of all.”
Chandarpal currently serves as Principal of the labour college of the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union.
The former Presidential Advisors remain. These are Gail Teixeira, Odinga Lumumba, Reepu Daman Persaud and Shyam Nokta.
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