Mon | Apr 22, 2019

Charles Jr joins Cabinet

Published:Tuesday | March 26, 2019 | 12:22 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Staff Reporter
Charles Jr
Charles Jr

Placing Senator Pearnel Charles Jr at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), which already has three ministers without portfolio, will accomplish nothing, political commentator Martin Henry has suggested.

Karl Samuda, Mike Henry and Daryl Vaz are the three ministers without portfolio in the MEGJC, which also has Everald Warmington as junior minister with responsibility for works in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced yesterday that he has advised Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to appoint Charles Jr as minister without portfolio in the MEGJC, effective immediately. Charles Jr was the junior minister for foreign affairs and foreign trade.

“Minister Pearnel Charles Jr will now work closely with Prime Minister Holness in the MEGJC on the housing and infrastructure portfolio,” Jamaica House said in a statement.

With the resignation of former Education Minister Ruel Reid from the Senate, the appointment satisfies Jamaica’s constitutional requirement that two members of the Cabinet should come from the Upper House.

However, Henry believes the Senate appointment could have been better used.

“I would think that with the absence of a minister for education, youth and information, the Senate appointment might have been better used to fill that vacancy rather than to add one more minister to a ministry which seems not to serve a very clear and precise purpose in the scheme of public administration,” Henry said.

Samuda has been assigned to the education ministry and is now conducting an administrative review of the agency.

Holness maintains oversight of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information portfolio, while the administrative and governance review is under way.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com