PM Announces Cabinet Resuffle

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarShortly before 8:00 PM tonight, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, announced the highly anticipated reshuffle of her administration. Two Ministers were fired and several others either received promotions or less significant portfolios.

Most significantly, Jack Warner, has been given the National Security Ministry, replacing Brigadier John Sandy.

Also replaced was Minister of Youth, Child Development and Gender Affairs Verna St Rose Greaves, by Marlene Coudray.

New to the government were former Member of Parliament Ganga Singh – Minister of Environment and Water Resources, as well as Larry Howai – Minister of Finance and the Economy.

Winston Dookeran took over the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs, which was previously held by Surujrattan Rambachan. Rambachan is now the Minister of Local Government.

Senator Devant Maharaj, who was formerly the Minister of Transport is now the Minister of Food Production. And Senator Vasant Bharath who was previously the Minister of Food Production, now heads the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment.

There was also the creation of the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration to be led by Clifton DeCoteau. Other ministries underwent modifications such as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education which was separated into the Ministry of Science and Technology, now headed by Dr. Rupert Griffith and the Ministry of Tertiary Education now headed by Senator Fazal Karim.

Here is the list:

New Ministerial portfolios

Minister of National Security: Austin Jack Warner;
Minister in the Ministry of People and Social Development: Vernella Alleyne-Toppin;
Minister of Communications: Jamal Mohammed;
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development: Marlene Coudray;
Minister of Transport: Chandresh Sharma;
Minister of Tobago Development: Dr Delmon Baker;
Minister of Local Government: Dr Surujrattan Rambachan;
Minister of Public Utilities: Nizam Baksh;
Minister of Works and Infrastructure: Senator Emmanuel George:
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism: Dr Lincoln Douglas;
Minister of Tourism: Stephen Cadiz;
Minister of Community Development: Winston Peters;
Minister of Science and Technology: Dr Rupert Griffith;
Minister of Tertiary Education: Fazal Karim;
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Winston Dookeran;
Minister of the Environment and Water Resources: Ganga Singh;
Minister in the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources: Ramona Ramdial;
Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration: Clifton de Coteau;
Minister in the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration: Embau Moheni;
Minister of Finance and the Economy: Larry Howai;
Minister of Food Production: Devant Maharaj;
Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Production: Jairam Seemungal;
Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment: Vasant Bharath; and
Deputy Speaker: Nela Khan

Unchanged positions

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 & Small & Micro Enterprise Dev’t: Errol McLeod;
Minister of Energy: Kevin Ramnarine;
Minister of Planning: Dr Bhoe Tewarie;
Minister of Sport: Anil Roberts;
Minister of Public Administration: Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan;
Minister of Education: Dr Tim Gopeesingh;
Minister of Health: Dr Fuad Khan; and
Minister in the Ministry of National Security: Collin Partap.

The Prime Minister thanked the cabinet for their service and reaffirmed her government’s objective to further the national agenda based on these changes. She said all changes were discussed and approved individually by each member of cabinet.

_________

The following is the full text of the Prime Minister’s address

Good evening fellow citizens.

On May 24th I signalled to the nation my intention to carry out a reconfiguration of the Cabinet. Since then I have met quietly with people from all sectors of society to gather views and opinions from the widest cross-section of the population as possible.

I have also interviewed and considered several candidates from within and outside of my Cabinet and evaluated several presentations. I have entertained discussions with the government’s strongest critics and most ardent supporters both of whom have helped provide me with broader perspectives. As someone once said, the best way to understand people is to listen to them. I have also sought wisdom and guidance through prayer and meditation.

There are new faces in the Cabinet and major shifts in responsibilities and portfolios as I sought to get the most out of the best fit possible. 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.

The government was elected on the wings of huge expectations from a population that had already waited too long for far too much. We assumed office after a period of excessive spending that had not addressed critical social and people centered needs. The result was a depleted Treasury and a nation in urgent need of help in so many areas.

It became our greatest challenge to stabilise the economy while investing heavily in addressing these needs, from broadening the social assistance programmes, fixing the CLICO issue, settling some 36 wage negotiations and broadening the development of the country for the first time into areas that had been neglected for decades.

And we had to do it while protecting ourselves from the effects of a global economy that is reeling under the weight of a recession. But it is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
We had the courage to take bold, new steps. Whether it was education, agriculture, crime, health, roads, the initiatives were strident and results driven. Against all odds we persevered and delivered much, always cognisant of the fact that we were elected for the very reasons that challenge us now as a government.

But 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.

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.

It is there in the most iconic symbol of change there could be, an oil drum, hammered out into the only musical instrument in the world developed in the last century, the steelpan. Over the next few years Trinidad and Tobago will undergo a similar transformation borne out of the same ingenuity, creativity and innovativeness which our people have become so famous for.

It is time to reclaim that self-belief. Our nation enters a new phase of its development where talents and resources are harnessed from people across all boundaries. We are all in this together. It touches each of us so we are all part of the solutions which your government now leads. In every area of the nation’s development our citizenry has a role to play and a purpose to serve.

The changes which I am about to announce in the Cabinet must deliver a level of competence and performance for an impatient and expectant population. I have been very clear on what is required of each member of the new Cabinet.
In my discussions with these men and women who will now take us forward into another phase of our development, I reaffirmed the oath we all took in 2010 and of the promise we made to our people to serve the people with humility.

I urged then that “We must accept no mediocrity. Neither must we contribute to it in any way. There must be no room for arrogance. We must be faithful to a leadership style that is firm, but humble, passionate and impatient for great achievements, but ever conscious of the correct procedures.”

Those words are as relevant now as they were then. I recall them now as a renewal of our commitment to you.

There is no room for egos nor personal agendas. Every single appointment made by me has received the full support of those selected.

Fellow citizens, it is with great pride and honour that I announce your government’s performance team:

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 Mc Leod, 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

Fellow citizens, the leadership team assembled here is reposed with the greatest of responsibility. Having reconfigured our Government, I expect now that we can continue, with greater impetus and determination to fulfill our promise to deliver our people and country to unprecedented development and progress.

As we move forward, we must outdo our own performance. We must lift our own benchmarks. We must surpass our own targets.

Let us all join together to become part of the effort to further this new beginning for our great nation.

May God bless you all and may God bless our nation.

8 Responses to “PM Announces Cabinet Resuffle”


  • Linda Edwards, class of '67

    Another round of musical chairs. Don’t settle in too comfy, all yuh,she will go on to round four and five before long.

  • Sounds like the new Election. Come on Madam Prime Minister, you have all these folks at your heel now. Would you all continue to copy outsiders and other nations policies-or are you capable of leading where we are suppose to go?
    1. Put that dent on Crimes
    2. Plant the land, to much money going in food imports
    3. Fix our school system
    4. Clean up the smell that is leaking out to the outside world
    5. People are literally afraid to come back to T&T
    6. Create sustainable Industries to create Jobs
    7. Don’t trust to much only on Creature comforts
    8. Commissions to put a check on violent Movies and Songs
    9. Create Standard Medical care for every Citizen
    10. Slow down on them Stadiums, we have enough

    Trinidad is to small for so much Ministries, do we wait for Committees to be set up to check these Ministries? Why local Ground Provisions so expensive? Market Goods? Basic Commodities is to High.
    Remember the People put you guys there, you have to represent the People. This applies to every MP’s- Your salaries don’t come from secret, but from Tax Payers.Every Citizen should be heard.
    “Every Creed and Race Find an Equal Place” “May God Bless our Nation”
    The Constitution should be taught in Schools, along with Strong Morals and Spirituality.In this rounds, none should be playing Dead to Catch COBO alive.
    Dick and Dora have grown up now, the same Cow that jump over the moon is a Bull now. As the Dish run away with the spoon- we looking for serious progress Soon…

  • Reward performers of the past 2 years and motivate and mobilize existing human resources. Well done Madam PM. In the context of the global economy you are doing exceedingly well. One just has to look at the UK, US, Greece, Spain etc. economies as an example. The resiliency of Jack Warner to take a beating from a segment of the population and do not give up is an admirable trait. He treks all over T&T and has first hand knowledge. We will see how he delivers on the crime frontier. We have been living on import substitution with respect to food products for over 3 decades, the population know that this cannot be rectified overnight but the dent is being made for all to see now whilst dealing with a culture of praedial larceny. For the former administrators to close done the sugar industry rather than scaling down to satisfy local market reflects short sightedness in understanding that you do not destroy a plant that converts solar energy into potential energy. Myopic vision from the previous administrators in having a sugar industry to consider the cost of milk, rum, citrus, cottage industry products etc. in the cost per tonne of sugar is a reflection and lack of foresight in following the tradition of shutting down the rail, rice industries etc. Therefore let’s give this administration a chance to prove themselves, for 2 years is certainly not sufficient. Soliciting the viewpoints from her opposition is strategic thinking in the re-configuration process and yes we shall always avail ourselves to more rounds of change.

    • Although I respect your opinion it is clear that you do not live here. Our economy has been in stagnation for almost three years, and this government has no clue as to getting it going again and yet people like yourself praise them for doing nothing. You don’t hire a repairman to fix a problem then reward him and you’re are still left with the problem, now do you. I believe partisanship must be cast out of any analysis where it involves the running of our country, remember future generations would be adversely affected including all our children. Two years has past nothing tangible has been done and this government is clueless, and ignorant when it comes to handling the affairs of this great nation, now we must accept an annual “musical chairs” game with those handling our business and expect for the best….I pray that this is not the change I voted for….

  • The Prime minister needs to get rid of non performers, such as, Volney and Griffith. Griffith did not produce in Tourism and now she promotes him to an innovative ministry like science and technology, that will determine how quickly we develop and keep abreast in these fields to measure up to India and Singapore. He did not perform in the last regime, neither this one. Some of these dead beats need to be banished to Siberia. Ministry of national diversity should have an Indian rep as well to show equity for the two major races in the country.
    Can Jamal fulfil his role as a media communicator in a fair and unbiased manner? Remember, now the entire nation must be considered and he must not appear to be a UNC mouth piece.

  • Congratulations.The industrialised countries of the world continue to “wrestle” with austerity measures.These are difficult,and uncertain times in human history.The Hon.Kamla Persad-Bissessar has my admiration for her decision to “shuffle” her cabinet.Also,her mention of the word “listen”.A great leader must listen to their colleagues as well as their enemies.It (listen) requires considerable effort and practice to accomplish.Former US President Bill Clinton reminded the world:”to solve problems you must speak to your enemies”.She becomes a fantastic leader because of the performance of the members of her administration.

    Bon chance,and God bless!!!!

  • I would like to retract all of the negative statements that I have made about Jack Warner. He has vision and a goal. He has seen what many are unwilling to accept as reality. Yes, Jack Warner knows the probable future of TNT.

    Yes there should be investment into Sugar, Technology, and Tourism. How can a Tourism Minister sell TNT with all of the crime? Yes there is crime in other countries, but the majority of the tourist that we want to visit are not from crime riddin communities in their nations so why would they visit? Technology is key because TNT needs to be on par with the rest of the world, but I am not sure that trying to compete with either Singapore, or India is the right direction for this nation. There definately is too many imports into this nation including mass media.
    Plain and simple, there is alot of things that TNT can mimic, but in the end, TNT has to create it’s own for all people of TNT. Whats best for TNT is not to be like these other places, but to be the best TNT that it can be.
    Jack Warner is going to sift through the rift raft and deal with anyone and everyone who could harm the nations best intrest as perscribed by the PM. When the dust clears and TNT still has a problem with Crime and national security, it will be the P.M. placing Blame on Jack for her failure.

  • Trini patriot,
    I guess you think wrongs are righted by having an indian and a african minister of diversity. Well, we can do that with every ministry, because fairness is the ideal here. From your reasoning in every ministry fairness would be an issues, you can say. Now, a lot of people are suddenly now saying that Eric Williams administration was a racist one and that now is the time to do just what he did with this government. I dont see how the true facts slip people. Eric Wiliams was prime minister at a time when Indians were not prepeared to be associated with blacks on any political level. They were suspicious of African leadership and quite frankly preffered Britis rule. Kamaluddin Muhammad,as indian but muslim, and realizing the ethnic tension between him and Hindus, was willing to form a strategic alliance for the welfare of Muslims in Trinidad. Eric Williams approval of the credo”may every creed and race find an equaL place” attest to his sensitivity of racial differences in T&T at the time. Indians develpoed in the areas in Trinidad that was advantageous and naturally attainble through their ownership of land. They eventually prevailed in medicine and commerce. Africans on the other hand developed in the areas naturally attainable to them, politics. All it took was the will and the ability to pontificate. Men crawled out of hovels and landless, stood on street corners and ranted about wages and people’s rights and became political stalwarts. Indians still uncertain, quietly plodded on to become what they are today. Blacks thrived in law enforcement and government and indians in professions and business. Today we are somewhat rewriting the facts. We hear of charges of racism on Dr Eric Wiliams. A man whose peers were essentially blak hungry men willing to take the plunge in a newly independent nation and had no illusions that the British were coming back nor wanted them back.Today, the African population’s stronghold is government employment basically civil service, the indians again, private sector. When indians now start raving and ranting about immediate equal representation in the civil service they are better be prepared to equally employ Africans in their private businesses to absorb the displacement. It is well undrstood that due to historical upheavals Africans do not have strong business structure almost anywhere, whether one wants to recognize that or not. So the question must be asked by those who are clamouring for immediate and full representation in these traditional employment providing areas for Africans, what is the African to do? How is he to survive? If you cannot answer that question with a fair amount of human concern, that is, if you dont give a damn about that, then you are setting the stage for massive revolt. And every one is going to lose. Everyone. Equality must be served but history must be observed to methodically bring equality not only in public sector, but to allow Africans through banking and finance to equalize business ambitions so fairness could be reflected in every segment of Trinidad’s society. Afterall, Indians control banking and finance, and I am sure they feel pretty secure about their place in Trinidad’s society because of it. And unless they are deciding to through violence and force keep all that they have and worked hard for, and yet still demand their half of what the Africans on their own initiative wrestled out of the hands of the British(hard work is hard work)we are destined to become another third world nation of coup and counter coups. And Africans are good at coup de etat, Indians? not much history of it. Can Trinidad be more violent than it is now? Yes. Or are the indians willing to give up something equal for that which they are asking?

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