Sonia Parag is new Minister of Local Govt

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Sonia Parag will be transferred to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development as its subject Minister.

President Dr Irfaan Ali moments ago made the announcement via a live broadcast to the nation.

The Ministry of Public Service, which Parag previously headed, will now be governed by Dr Ashni Singh, Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance.

For some time now, the Ministry of Local Government was being managed by Anand Persaud, who was a minister within the Ministry.

The Ministry’s previous subject Minister Nigel Dharamlall had in July 2023 resigned from the position.

Dharamlall, who was also a Member of Parliament, was replaced by Nandranie Coonjah in the National Assembly.

It was announced on July 4, 2023, that Dharamlall had resigned, following allegations of rape that were levelled against him. Subsequently, however, the complainant declined to pursue the matter. The victim had given a “no further action statement” to investigators in the presence of one of her parents and a representative of the Child Care and Protection Agency.

This had led to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali Hack, SC, advising the Police not to proceed with the case. The DPP, in her advice, stated that the victim’s decision to withdraw the complaint was not influenced by anyone, and that same was done in her best interest.

Based on this new development, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) had revealed that, “the Director of Public Prosecutions concluded that, in the absence of the victim’s complaint, there is no legal provision for the Police to proceed with the matter.”

“The DPP also proffered her advice based on the fact that the virtual complainant’s statement was taken by a forensic interviewer in the presence of a parent, a Child Care officer, and a Police officer; and that such statement was free and voluntary,” the GPF had also related in their statement.