A tougher task is ahead for the members of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s Cabinet.
Stuart signalled the heavier work load in store for his ministers this morning shortly after they took their oaths of office, and he said the portfolio changes he made were aimed at maximising the skills of the different individuals.
And he has also promised that while two former ministers and another defeated candidate were not among the 17 Cabinet members announced, he would find places for them to contribute to his administration’s success.
“A Prime Minister has to move people around, deploy his resources as he sees fit to make sure that the best is got out of the team. The Cabinet is, I think, smaller by about two persons, therefore much greater effort is going to be called from all of the persons who have been named to the Cabinet and I am confident that we will get just that,” he said.
Giving the rationale for the Cabinet assignments, Stuart made it clear such choices were “within the exclusive discretion of the Prime Minister and I felt that if you are going to be building people for higher and better things that they have as wide an experience as possible”.
“Take somebody like Michael Lashley, Michael Lashley has been an astounding success in the Ministry of Housing, but why would a man want to go into political retirement when that time comes, remembered only as having spent time at the Ministry of Housing when he can amass a vaster experience, touch more lives in different ways and prepare himself for higher and better things,” he said.
“Michael is a politician with great potential, he use to be an excellent criminal lawyer, he has shown he has solid administrative and implementation skills and I think that having regard to the infrastructural challenges that we have faced in certain parts of St. Lucy, for example, in St. George certainly, and in certain parts of St. Philip, not to exclude a lot of the others, that a minister like Michael Lashley will hit the ground running and get some of those challenges wrestled to the ground for us,” he stated, noting “this is no reflection of course on the predecessor Minister … John Boyce, who also did a very good job during his incumbency”.
As for former ministers Haynesley Benn, George Hutson and former St. Michael East MP Kenny Best, the Prime Minister said he was in touch with the trio “and you can be sure that they will be functioning in other capacities”.
“Of course the number of persons to be appointed to the Senate is limited, I have access to only 12 appointments and I had to look at the resources available and how to use those resources…,” he said.
“But Kenny Best, George Hutson and Haynesley Benn have made a significant contribution to the life of the government between 2008 and the dissolution of Parliament, they have a lot more to give and I have spoken to all three and given assurances that they will be incorporated into the administration performing different functions,” he said. (SC)