The opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) is criticising the new government for the uneven ethnic and gender distribution of its cabinet members. According to the party, the cabinet is lopsided.

“It is clear that the 23-person ‘cabinet’ was formulated using strict gender and ethnic quotas. There is a mere seven women in the ‘cabinet’. This represents less than 30% which is the constitutional requirement for Members of Parliament,” the coalition said in a statement today.

This is in stark contrast to, and a backward step from the 11 female ministers who served in the APNU+AFC administration, the alliance said, while noting that the previous regime consisted of the most women ever to have served in any Cabinet in Guyana’s history.

They were:

1. Minister of Public Health – Hon. Volda Lawrence
2. Minister of Social Protection – Hon. Amna Ally
3. Minister of State – Hon. Dawn Hastings-Williams
4. Minister of Foreign Affairs – Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings
5. Minister of Education – Hon. Dr. Nicolette Henry
6. Minister of Public Telecommunications – Hon. Cathy Hughes
7. Minister of Public Service – Hon. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley
8. Minister of Youth Affairs – Hon. Simona Broomes-Charles
9. Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture – Hon. Valeria Adams-Patterson
10. Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs – Hon. Valerie Garrido-Lowe
11. Minister within the Ministry of Communities – Hon. Annette Ferguson

The APNU+AFC is calling on the PPP to answer to the people of Guyana as to why such a relatively small number of women has been named in its cabinet.
It further noted that only seven Afro-Guyanese are part of the new cabinet.
“Again, this appears to be the strict application of an ethnic quota system. The APNU+AFC Cabinet was the most diverse in the history of Guyana, with more than ten Indo-Guyanese and persons of Indigenous extractions serving at the Cabinet level alongside their colleagues. This was in addition to numerous high-profile appointments at the highest levels of government, inclusive of state agencies, state boards and in the diplomatic corps which did not apply any ethnic quota as the PPP is now clearly using,” the APNU+AFC said.


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