Minister of Foreign Trade and International Co-operation, Dr Henry Jeffrey, has been dropped from Cabinet. He is now likely to serve in an ambassadorial position.Reports are that Dr Jeffrey and President Bharrat Jagdeo have been having differences of views over time.
A source close to the Office of the President said that the most recent clash occurred during discussions on the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
On Tuesday, at the statutory meeting of Cabinet, President Jagdeo and Dr Jeffrey once more had a disagreement that led to the decision that Dr Jeffrey will no longer serve as a minister in the Jagdeo Cabinet.According to reports, Dr Jeffrey had indicated to people that if he had any option, it would be to serve in a diplomatic capacity.
President Jagdeo reportedly got wind of this sentiment; so, on Tuesday, at Cabinet, he reportedly indicated to Dr Jeffrey that he would be willing to offer him a diplomatic posting.
However, with Dr Jeffrey’s wife being a lawyer in the Chambers of the law firm Cameron and Shepherd, people close to the issue of Dr Jeffrey’s dropping from Cabinet said that it would be unlikely that she would be willing to pick up her roots and leave with her husband.
This may have sparked the decision to have Dr Jeffrey posted to Suriname, a diplomatic mission close to home.And a source in the Public Buildings said yesterday that Dr Jeffrey has approached the staff to have his pension and other benefits sorted out.
Dr Jeffrey was appointed a minister in 1992 as a member of the Civic component of the Government after Dr Cheddi Jagan had won the elections.
He was appointed Minister of Labour.He then served as Minister of Education, having replaced another member of the Civic component of the Government, Dr Dale Bisnauth. In the wake of the 2006 elections, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Trade and International Co-operation, after Minister Clement Rohee was appointed Minister of Home Affairs.
Contacted by the media yesterday, President Jagdeo said that, as far as he was aware, Dr Jeffrey remains in his office as minister, and that he, President Jagdeo, would be the person to determine whether Dr Jeffrey remains a minister.
He was reportedly responding to a question about whether Dr Jeffrey had been sent home. And indeed, Dr Jeffrey remained in office yesterday, pending the formal announcement of President Jagdeo’s decision.