Two ministers to lose portfolios in reshuffle

PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Minister Emmanuel George and Communication Minister Jamal Mohammed are expected to lose their cabinet portfolios when Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar reshuffles her deck of ministers.

Senior government sources told the Express the reshuffle will take place on Thursday.

The Express learnt that Dr Surujrattan Rambachan, who holds two ministerial portfolios — the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Works — will be stripped of one portfolio.

The government sources said the prime minister is still reviewing several other ministerial portfolios but no final decision has yet been made on possible changes.

It will be the third re-alignment of the Persad-Bissessar administration in its three years of Government.

The government sources explained that George’s appointment was initially a temporary one following the resignation of then National Security Minister Jack Warner in April. However, his appointment is to be revoked given the spike in murders over the weekend and the ministry’s inability to significantly handle the crime scourge.

The next national security minister will be the country’s fourth in the People’s Partnership administration. The first was Brigadier John Sandy, followed by Warner and then George.

Government sources insist the reshuffle is a necessary one coming on the heels of the United National Congress’ defeat in the Chaguanas West by-election on July 29.

It was explained that the reshuffle is being undertaken by the prime minister in an attempt to address issues of governance and delivery ahead of the 2014 budget. The PM also wants to put the economy on a solid footing in the coming months, the Express was told.

Persad-Bissessar is expected to attend a meeting with the UNC’s national executive and will also meet with the party’s parliamentary arm tomorrow.

Last week, Persad-Bissessar met with Congress of the Leader leader Prakash Ramadhar to discuss the Partnership’s defeat in the by-election. The COP had endorsed the UNC’s candidate Khadijah Ameen in the election race. (Express)

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