Guyana new president appoints VP, PM, Parliament and Govt affairs ministers
L-R: Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, President Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira.
By Canute James/Argus
Petroleumworld 08 05 2020
Guyana's new president is starting to name his cabinet in a fragile political transition with high stakes for the country's fledgling oil industry.
After five months of resistance from the ruling coalition that declined to recognize the results of a vote recount from 2 March elections, the new administration of Irfaan Ali of the People's Progressive Party (PPP) and his cabinet will be inaugurated on 8 August, following his swearing-in on 2 August.
Key oil appointments are still pending. Ali has so far appointed three cabinet members - former president Bharrat Jagdeo as vice-president, Mark Phillips as prime minister and Gail Teixeira as parliamentary affairs and governance minister.
But the oil industry is keen to hear who will assume the natural resources portfolio and the directorship of the energy department, which is not a cabinet position.
In a sign of lingering international concern, the US has not lifted sanctions imposed last month on unnamed Guyanese officials who were deemed to have held up recognition of a vote recount that favored the opposition.
Ali replaced David Granger whose coalition has overseen the country's emergence as an oil producer.
Ali's administration will have a five-year term during which ExxonMobil is projecting output to reach 750,000 b/d by 2025, following the start of production in December 2019 from the deepwater Stabroek block. Current output is 100,000 b/d and is supposed to reach 120,000 b/d this month, according to ExxonMobil partner Hess.
The handover has been greeted with cautious optimism from the US, Canada, the UK, the Organization of American States (OAS) , the Atlanta-based Carter Center and Caribbean trade group Caricom.
Granger is continuing to challenge the election result, vowing that his coalition will file a court petition for a repeal of the outcome, the latest of numerous court actions.