PORT-OF-SPAIN: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has reshuffled her Cabinet, placing yet another person at the helm of the Ministry of National Security.
Gary Griffith, who was the security advisor to the Prime Minister, has been appointed National Security Minister, becoming the fourth person to hold the post since the Peoples Partnership coalition took power three years ago.
Persad-Bissessar announced the changes to her Cabinet at a post-Cabinet press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister last week.
“Starting today, and as promised, I have taken stock of the performances in my government over time, examined where more needs to be done and who is best suited to perform in what area in order to accelerate the speed of delivery to meet the expectations of the public,” she said. “In this regard, I have decided to make several changes.”
Persad-Bissessar stated that during the last reconfiguration of the Cabinet she promised to review the performances of ministers of government against the demands and satisfaction of the people and would make decisive moves for further changes.
“This ushers in a new era of my government,” she said. “I can assure you that no one will escape scrutiny of his or her performance and satisfaction of the public interest. This is lift-off time, the launch of the most aggressive development and progressive period of governance in our nation’s history. The groundwork has been laid, the foundation is there, now the transformation you elected us to achieve will occur and will do so at breathtaking pace.”
The Prime Minister announced that former National Security Minister, Emmanuel George, is now the Minister of Justice, replacing Christlyn Moore.
Other changes to the Cabinet include the appointment of Gerald Hadeed to the post of communications minister. Raziah Ahmed has been appointed a minister in the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will be headed by Roodal Moonilal, while the Ministry of Land and Marine Resources will be headed by Jairam Seemungal.
Persad-Bissessar announced a split in the Ministry of Local Government and Works. Marlene Coudray will be appointed local government minister and the Ministry of Works will be headed by Suruj Rambachan.
Chandresh Sharma has been transferred from the transport ministry and is the new Minister of Tourism. Stephen Cadiz has been moved from tourism and is the new Minister of Transport.
Clifton De Coteau has been moved from the Ministry of National Diversity and Integration, and now heads the Ministry of Gender Affairs. Roger Samuel has been appointed the Minister of National Diversity and Integration.
The Prime Minister assured the nation that performance reviews will be conducted on a regular basis and if necessary, further changes will be made.
“You, the citizens, will also have an opportunity to make your opinions known through the National Conversation platform,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar also expressed confidence in her party ahead of the upcoming local government elections.
“It is our objective to ensure every community is supported by a level of localized representation that ensures our accelerated development plan helps every area meet its target,” she said. “At the end of the day, we are the government with the capacity and political will to meet the needs of the people. And so as we go into local government elections each of our candidates knows what will be expected of them to deliver as never before.”