Sun | Nov 29, 2020

New old Cabinet - PM recycles many former faces in 19-person team

Published:Saturday | September 12, 2020 | 12:17 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Floyd Green
Pearnel Charles Jr
Kamina Johnson Smith
Fayval Williams
Matthew Samuda
Desmond McKenzie
Delroy Chuck
Andrew Holness
Nigel Clarke
Olivia Grange
Dr Christopher Tufton
Ed Bartlett
Everald Warmington
Daryl Vaz
Karl Samuda
Robert Montague
Aubyn Hill
Audley Shaw

The prime minister has dusted off much of his old Cabinet and brought it into full function for his second term.

Andrew Holness on Friday announced his full Cabinet, but there are few changes from the one that was in place prior to the September 3 general election.

The 19-member Cabinet, along with nine state ministers, will make up the executive of the Government.

Marlene Malahoo Forte has been returned as attorney general.

The prime minister says the appointments reflect the skill sets and experience needed to guide the country on what he says is an already established path of recovery and to deliver on the commitments made to the people of Jamaica in the election campaign.

Clarendon Central Member of Parliament Mike Henry has been left out of the Cabinet, while the drafting of Clarendon South East MP Pearnel Charles Jr to head up the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, and St Elizabeth South MP Floyd Green now in charge of the agriculture and fisheries portfolio are the highlights of the announcements.

Fayval Williams is now the minister of education, youth, and information, while Daryl Vaz has been assigned the energy, science and technology portfolio.

In an immediate reaction to the announcement of the Cabinet, United Kingdom High Commissioner Asif Ahmad tweeted, “The future of Jamaica is in the capable hands of [Fayval Williams] in education. Congratulations.”

Not surprised

Lecturer in politics at The University of the West Indies, Damion Gordon, said he was not surprised by most of the appointments made by the prime minister.

He argued that Holness would have taken that his resounding victory at the September 3 polls would have been a vote of confidence in the Cabinet.

“For the new Cabinet, it would be more about continuity based on the victory. The prime minister would have said, ‘Well, Jamaicans have confidence in the current Cabinet of the country,’” Gordon argued.

“I also suspect that some of the new entrants would have been placed in the ministries to be mentored by the senior ministers which would constitute and approach to succession planning by the Jamaica Labour Party,” the university lecturer stated.

Gordon said he was disappointed in the selection of Everald Warmington and Daryl Vaz as ministers.

“I just feel like both don’t represent the new kind of politics that civil-minded Jamaicans want. Their level of discourse is always controversial in a negative matter and their public utterances leave much to be desired,” Gordon said.

Jobs for Samuda, Shaw

Karl Samuda has been assigned the social security portfolio, while Audley Shaw is still in charge of industry, commerce and investment.

In an RJRGLEANER-Don Anderson poll conducted before the election, Shaw had been rated as the worst-performing minister.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, so it’s imperative that some of the older faces be maintained. I would not want to see many of the old faces holding Cabinet positions for too long, what I hope the prime minister will do is to slowly move some of the older faces out of the Cabinet over the next two years and elevate some of the newer ones to full portfolio ministers,” opined Sanjay Lewis, political science lecturer at University of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Welfare and support services manager for Equality For All Foundation, Karen Lloyd, said Holness had the opportunity to make some “well-needed” changes in portfolios which have presented serious challenges.

For example, Lloyd singled out the justice and the gender portfolios.

“There was an opportunity to give gender a fresh mandate. It has not worked in the current dispensation being paired with culture and sports. The prime minister could’ve also named a state minister to deal with the gender portfolio specifically,” Lloyd stated.

However, head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Dr Karen Carpenter, argued that many of the women from whom the prime minister had to choose were in their first term as member of parliament and, therefore, might not necessarily have the public administration skills to take on Cabinet positions.

“Some of them have not had the service, not as seasoned. I am not disappointed that more women aren’t in the Cabinet because I am confident that more women will end up in the Cabinet as time goes on,” Carpenter told The Gleaner.

The Jamaica Labour Party will have 14 women in the House of Representatives when it resumes sittings, while the People’s National Party will have four.

Former chief executive officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, Diana McCaulay, said she was pleased with the administration’s inclusion of the climate change portfolio as well as urban renewal, although she was not too familiar with the new minister.

Still, she is for priority to be given to the Cockpit Country and also for fines for environmental breaches to be reviewed.

The Cabinet ministers, with the exception of those already appointed, will be sworn in at King’s House on Sunday at 4 p.m., while the state ministers will be sworn on Monday at 3 p.m.



Cabinet Ministers

1. Andrew Holness – Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Economic Growth and Job Creation

2. Dr Horace Chang – Deputy Prime Minister, National Security

3. Dr Nigel Clarke – Finance and Public Service

4. Senator Kamina Johnson Smith – Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

5. Dr Christopher Tufton – Health and Wellness

6. Desmond McKenzie – Local Government and Rural Development

7. Olivia Grange – Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

8. Edmund Bartlett – Tourism

9. Robert Montague – Transport and Mining

10. Fayval Williams – Education, Youth and Information

11. Delroy Chuck – Justice

12. Daryl Vaz – Energy, Science and Technology

13. Karl Samuda – Labour and Social Security

14. Floyd Green – Agriculture and Fisheries

15. Audley Shaw – Industry, Investment and Commerce

16. Pearnel Charles Jr – Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change

17. Matthew Samuda – Senator and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security

18. Everald Warmington – Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation

19. Aubyn Hill – Senator and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation


State Ministers

1. Marsha Smith – Finance and the Public Service

2. Leslie Campbell – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

3. Juliet Cuthbert – Flynn – Health and Wellness

4. Homer Davis – Local Government and Rural Development

5. Alando Terrelonge – Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

6. J.C. Hutchinson – Transport and Mining

7. Robert Morgan – Education, Youth and Information

8. Zavia Mayne – Labour and Social Security

9. Dr Norman Dunn – Industry, Investment and Commerce