First day in Office: President Irfaan Ali urges “team work”.
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday August 4, 2020
Monday, August 3rd 2020, marked the official first day in office of His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
As expected, the President’s first day in the highest office in the land was packed with meetings and courtesy visits as well as meeting the members of staff at the Ministry of the Presidency.
During a short address to the staff, the President stated that he hoped to appoint his cabinet ministers and establish government ministries by the end of the week.
“Before the end of this week, we hope to have all the Ministries established with the Cabinet Ministers appointed, the areas of responsibilities will have to be detailed and gazetted and then we can move towards a more general and broad discussion in relation to the priorities and the focus of the new Government,” he said.
The President noted that this was all being done for every Guyanese “So we’re in this together for a better Guyana.”
Stating that the Ministry of the Presidency is the highest office in the country and that it should have the highest level of service at the highest standard, President Ali urged his staff to work as a team and behave in a manner befitting of the office.
“It is not only the President that makes this environment successful, I’m fully aware of this. I’ve always been a strong believer in teamwork. I’ve always been a strong believer in collective thinking, so I expect all of you to recognise that we have to operate at the highest standard, (in) the most efficient way, and we have to set the bar for the rest of the public service and the rest of the country,” he urged.
His Excellency stated that while changes will come, as is common with a transition, plans must result in the ultimate benefit of all the Guyanese people.
He also made it clear that nothing will be done to fuel insecurities or distrust since this can lead to disunity. “That is not the way we should operate.” President Ali stated.
Next on his agenda, the Head of State along with Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo met with Members of the Diplomatic Community where areas of mutual interest were discussed.
Vice President Jagdeo, Prime Minister Mark Phillips, new Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Hon. Gail Teixeira met with Permanent Secretaries from the various Government Ministries on the way forward.
During the course of the day President Ali, accompanied again by Vice-President Jagdeo, Prime Minister Phillips and Dr. Frank Anthony met with the National COVID-19 Task Force.
During that meeting, the new Head of State was briefed about the pandemic in Guyana.
President Ali is quoted saying the current pandemic is the single most important issue facing the country and that it has serious implications for the country’s economy.
Also present at the meeting was Acting Chief of Staff (ag) of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Godfrey Bess and Acting Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie.
Later on, President Ali, along with all the members of his appointed transition team, met with members of the local Business Community at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.