PM: Cabinet changes soon
By Richardson Dhalai Thursday, August 29 2013
The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle is scheduled to take place before the next sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar disclosed last evening.
“It will be a reshuffle, a realignment for better delivery,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters of her planned Cabinet changes at Rienzi Complex, Couva, where a meeting of the UNC executive and parliamentary arm took place.
With Finance Minister Larry Howai due to present the 2014 Budget in Parliament on September 9, Persad-Bissessar is likely to announce her changes before the debate on Government’s fiscal measures begins.
She confirmed the double portfolio of Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, currently managed by Minister Suruj Rambachan, are to be separated.
“It was a temporary arrangement given what had happened,” Persad-Bissessar said. She referred to the assignment of the Works and Infrastructure Ministry to Rambachan, who already had the Local Government Ministry, when Emmanuel George was appointed National Security Minister following the resignation of Jack Warner from this post amid football corruption allegations. George was previously the Works and Infrastructure Minister.
It is expected Rambachan would be left as Works and Infrastructure Minister, with Local Government going to Marlene Coudray, a former San Fernando City Corporation CEO, currently Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development. Minister in the Office the Prime Minister Rodger Samuel is likely to assume this latter portfolio.
Asked whether there would be other ministerial changes, Persad-Bissessar said, “The others are still on the drawing board or chess board, as it were, and I am still giving them (ministers) the initiative to show up their work and deliver.”
On the reasons for the reshuffle, Persad-Bissessar said she felt there was “always room for improvement”.
“We are talking to the MPs and talking to constituents and I do believe thaat we can realign in a way that would help us,” she said.
Following her announcement that Local Government election will take place by October 25, when it is constitutionally due, Persad-Bissessar said the nominations for UNC candidates will close by 4 pm on September 9, coinciding with Budget Day.
After the Budget debate, the screening of the UNC candidates would begin making it highly likely that the date for the local polls will be in October.