Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Monday June 25, 2012 - Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has made good on her May 24 promise to Trinidadians that she was going to carry out a “reconfiguration” of her Cabinet.

Shortly before 8 p.m. last Friday (June 22), the Trinidad and Tobago prime minister announced her “major shifts in responsibilities and portfolios [in order] to get the most out of the best fit possible”, she read from her prepared statement.

Her shifts saw the exit of outgoing Minister of National Security, Brigg John Sandy; outgoing Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Verna St. Rose-Greaves; and outgoing Minister of Tobago Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, who leaves Cabinet to become a junior minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development. The high profile former Minister of Finance Winston Dookeran has also now been transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, the prime minister stressed that: “The changes made should not be seen for any one as an indictment on performance. Each member of my Cabinet has worked tirelessly in service to the nation and I am proud of their contribution. Our task was challenging from the very start.”

Persad-Bissessar also introduced a few “new faces” into her Cabinet. New to the government are former Member of Parliament Ganga Singh as the new Minister of Environment and Water Resources, and Larry Hawai, is now the Minister of Finance and the Economy.

The prime minister defended her changes by saying: “as I see it, the government has two choices, we can pat ourselves on the back and say under the circumstances, ‘well done’, or we can look at all we did not achieve, we can choose instead to listen to those who are not satisfied, we can measure the way forward by looking at areas where we have gone wrong or not done enough, we can reassess approaches and strategies, improving upon everything in every way possible. We can choose to work harder, to do more, and to be urged on by the criticisms even as we are inspired by the congratulations.”

She acknowledged that her reshuffle would likely meet criticism, noting that: “the reconfiguration of my Cabinet will meet with reviews from all over and everyone will have their say one way or the other. I ask one thing of every consideration made and that is to acknowledge what change is possible from within us all.”

However, she charged her newly reconfigured Cabinet ministers, who she called her “performance team”, to “deliver a level of competence and performance for an impatient and expectant population”, adding that: “I have been very clear on what is required of each member of the new Cabinet”.

She urged them to accept no mediocrity or arrogance, while adhering to “a leadership style that is firm, but humble, passionate and impatient for great achievements, but ever conscious of the correct procedures.”

The new Cabinet was announced as follows:

Minister of National Security                                                     Jack Warner, M.P

Minister in the Ministry of National Security                                Collin Partap, M.P

Minister of Legal Affairs                                                          Prakash Ramadhar, M.P

Attorney General                                                                    Senator Anand Ramlogan

Minister of the People and Social Development                          Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh, M.P

Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development     Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, M.P

Minister of Education                                                              Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, M.P

Minister of Housing                                                                Dr. Roodal Moonilal, M.P

Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development                     Marlene Coudray

Minister of Justice                                                                 Herbert Volney, M.P

Minister of Public Administration                                             Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, M.P

Minister of Energy                                                                Senator Kevin Ramnarine

Minister of Labour & Small & Micro Enterprise Dev’t                   Errol McLeod,M.P

Minister of Transport                                                            Chandresh Sharma,M.P

Minister of Sport                                                                  Anil Roberts, M.P

Minister of Planning                                                             Sen. Dr. Bhoendradatt Tiwarie

Minister of Public Utilities                                                      Nizam Baksh, M.P

Minister of Tobago Development                                           Dr.Delmon Baker, M.P

Minister of Local Government                                                Dr.Surujrattan Rambachan,M.P

Minister in the Ministry of Local Government                            Rudranath Indarsingh,M.P

Minister of Works and Infrastructure                                       Sen. Emmanuel George

Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure                  Stacy Roopnarine,M.P

Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism                                  Dr. Lincoln Douglas,M.P

Minister of Health                                                                Dr.Fuad Khan M.P

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister                  Rodger Samuel, M.P

Minister of Tertiary Education                                                Senator Fazal Karim

Minister of Tourism                                                             Stephen Cadiz,M.P

Minister of Community Development                                     Winston Peters,M.P

Minister of Food Production                                                  Sen.Devant Maharaj

Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Production                 Jairam Seemungal, MP

Minister of Science & Technology                                          Dr.Rupert Griffith

Minister of Foreign Affairs                                                    Winston Dookeran, M.P

Minister of Trade, Industry & Investment                               Sen.Vasant Bharath
 
Minister of the Environment & Water Resources                      Ganga Singh

Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment & Water Resources                    Ramona Ramdial, M.P

Minister of National Diversity & Social Integration                                            Clifton De Coteau

Minster in the Ministry of National Diversity & Social Integration                        Senator Embau Moheni

Minister of Communication                                                                          Jamal Mohammed

Minister of Finance & The Economy (with responsibility for Caribbean Airlines)    Larry Howai

Deputy Speaker                                                                                         Nela Khan,M.P

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