Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter
THE CABINET of newly inaugurated Prime Minister Andrew Holness now comprises three members.
A day after his historic elevation to the seat of head of government, the 39-year-old prime minister instructed Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to swear in Audley Shaw and Dwight Nelson as ministers of finance and national security, respectively.
Before the end of the week, the full slate of Cabinet ministers is expected to be in place.
Yesterday's brief ceremony took place at King's House and was attended by family members and other government officials and well-wishers.
Holness, in his first official public address yesterday, said that the decision to stage an early swearing-in ceremony for Shaw and Nelson was made as a result of the critical and urgent nature of their responsibilities.
Describing the decision as "strategic and practical" Holness said he was living up to his promise to be "pragmatic".
Critical gaps to fill
"You can't have any gaps at all in administration of government in this area and, indeed, the minister of finance, strategically as well, the minister has several meetings that he must attend to right away and we certainly cannot afford any gaps," Holness said.
Earlier the governor general, in a moment of humour, enquired whether the swearing in of the two ministers were symbolic of the "pecking order" of the prime minister's Cabinet.
"There is no pecking order, Governor General. All ministers are equal, certainly in the sight of the prime minister," Holness quipped.
Holness was sworn in as Jamaica's ninth prime minister at a ceremony at King's House on Sunday.