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New faces in PM’s Cabinet reshuffle
Former Public Utilities Minister Ganga Singh, UNC deputy leader Marlene Coudray and banker Larry Howai have been brought into the reconfigured Cabinet of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. “The changes made must deliver a level of competence and performance for an impatient and expectant population,” Persad Bissessar said last night as she announced the reshuffle.
Singh, chief executive officer of WASA, has been given the new ministerial portfolio of the Environment and Water Resources. Coudray, currently mourning the loss of her daughter, Michelle Coudray-Greaves, replaces Verna St Rose-Greaves as Gender Affairs Minister. St Rose-Greaves is now out of the Cabinet. Winston Dookeran, who has been replaced by Howai as Finance Minister, now takes up the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
John Sandy, who has been replaced by Jack Warner as National Security Minister, has accepted a diplomatic posting. The Prime Minister announced her broadly revamped Cabinet in an 8 pm address carried live on radio and television from the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. She did so in the presence of her new team. Dookeran, Howai and St Rose-Greaves were absent.
Persad-Bissessar shifted some of her former ministers, splitting several ministries, creating new ones and bringing in new peopleto to get “the best fit.” She met with ministers from 5 pm when she informed them of the various changes. In her address, Persad-Bissessar thanked Dookeran for stabilising the economy. She said the changes should not be seen as an indictment on anyone’s performance since each member of the Cabinet worked tirelessly.
Persad-Bissessar said she had met with people from all sectors to get views and had interviewed and considered candidates from outside the Cabinet. She said she also spoke with the Government’s strongest critics and staunchest supporters before formulating her choices.
“The leadership team is reposed with the greatest of responsibility. Having reconfigured our Government I expect now we can continue with greater impetus and determination to fulfill our promise to deliver to our people and country,” she said, as she urged the team to surpass its own targets.
Speaking to reporters after, Persad-Bissessar said the new ministers would be sworn in by President George Maxwell Richards on Monday. She said the new Environment Ministry, headed by Singh, will focus on an important issue, while the new Science and Technology Ministry will put more focus on areas that had not been as well advanced as they should be.
“I think Mr Singh will make an excellent minister. That’s why he is back in the Government,” she said. She said foundations have been laid for growth and takeoff of the economy and she felt Howai, with his experience in the financial sector, was well positioned to take T&T further.
On the new Communications Ministry, she said: “We have been blamed from day one for not having a proper communcications network, so in creating this there will be a ministry to go to with respect to governance and government,”
The Prime Minister didn’t rule out another reshuffle, saying ministers will always be under review and their final performance review coincides with the date of the next general election.
Persad-Bissessar said Warner was chosen for National Security as he was “a man of action” and she had listened to many persons in coming to her decision. She also said Sandy did an excellent job. Warner told reporters no Minister of National Security had ever “succeeded fully.” He said he was being asked to do a job that had possibly not been fully done before.
“I’ll hit the ground running and give it my best shot,” Warner added. He said by Monday he would be better able to say how things in the ministry were. He did not say what his first priority was but said he would rely heavily on Sandy for advice.
Minister of National Security:
Austin Jack Warner;
Minister in Ministry of the People:
Minister of Communications:
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development:
Minister of Transport:
Minister of Tobago Development:
Dr Delmon Baker;
Minister of Local Government:
Dr Surujrattan Rambachan;
Minister of Public Utilities:
Works and Infrastructure:
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism:
Dr Lincoln Douglas;
Minister of Tourism:
Minister of Community Development:
Minister of Science and Technology:
Dr Rupert Griffith;
Minister of Tertiary Education:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Minister of the Environment and Water Resources:
Minister in the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources:
Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration: Clifton de Coteau;
Minister in the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration:
Minister of Finance:
Minister of Food Production:
Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Production: Jairam Seemungal;
Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment:
Vasant Bharath; and
Attorney General: Anand Ramlogan;
Minister of Housing: Dr Roodal Moonilal;
Minister of Legal Affairs: Prakash Ramadhar;
Minister of the People: Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh;
Minister of Labour: Errol McLeod;
Minister of Energy: Kevin Ramnarine;
Minister of Planning: Dr Bhoe Tewarie;
Minister of Sport: Anil Roberts;
Minister of Public Administration:
Minister of Education: Dr Tim Gopeesingh;
Minister of Health: Dr Fuad Khan; and
Minister in the Ministry of National Security:
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