New Foreign Affairs Minister named in Guyana

Dr. Karen Cummings

GEORGETOWN, Guyana– A junior minister in David Granger’s Cabinet has been chosen as the new Foreign Affairs Minister, following the resignation of Carl Greenidge over his dual citizenship without a replacement being named.

Dr. Karen Cummings, who had been serving as Minister within the Ministry of Public Health since 2015, took the oath of office before President David Granger last week, a week after Greenidge’s resignation took effect.

President Granger said the country could not be without a Foreign Minister and Cummings was the right person for the job.

The new minister admitted to reporters that she was surprised at having been chosen to be Greenidge’s successor, but indicated she was up to the challenge.

“I know it’s a lot of hard work, but I am prepared for the task and I hope to serve in this new office with distinction,” she said, adding that she would be looking to Greenidge for guidance.

Greenidge, along with Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Minister of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, and Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon, stepped down as Members of Parliament – and also as Ministers – in accordance with a court ruling that anyone with dual citizenship could not sit in the National Assembly.

Harmon has since taken up the newly created position of Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency. Among his responsibilities is sitting in and reporting on Cabinet meetings – although he is not a member of Cabinet – in much the same way he functioned in his previous post.

In fact, after Cabinet met last Thursday, he chaired the post-Cabinet press conferences as he did as Minister of State.

However, he said, his role is still being worked out.

Harmon also told the media that future portfolios for Gaskin and Greenidge were being examined.

“There are some ongoing discussions are taking place,” he said.