TWO OF Grenada's newly elected parliamentarians who were listed among the biggest winners of the 2013 campaign, are among three who Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has said now have "the mantle of the keeper of the flame of our democracy".
Clifton Paul, Tobias Clement and Yolande Bain-Horsford will sit on parliamentary sub-committees normally occupied by opposition members and will not be in the Cabinet. The three will receive additional allowances for their constituencies and be briefed weekly by a specially appointed Cabinet committee.
Mitchell revealed the highly anticipated Cabinet at a festive swearing-in ceremony on Sunday afternoon at Grenada's national stadium, River Road, St George's. The new government will have only 11 ministries, five fewer than the last administration.
For days, the country has been abuzz with speculation about just who was going to be left out of the new Cabinet. The prime minister, who described that task as painful, used the dilemma to fix another situation, that of the absence of a formal opposition in the country, after the NNP swept the polls on February 19. Parliamentary subcommittees such as the Public Accounts Committee require non-Cabinet parliamentarians to be included.
The prime minister called on supporters of those left out of the Cabinet to understand what he is trying to do. "The decision about who to leave out was very painful for me," he said.
Leaving the door open for future Cabinet changes, the prime minister said, "It is quite possible that people who serve as backbenchers today can be full-fledged ministers in the not-too-distant future."
A national bipartisan committee and village councils are two systems the prime minister said will be put in place for regular accounting to the people.
In a speech designed to set the tone for national unity and cooperation and to provide hope for economic recovery, Mitchell said his team understands that their priority is to secure jobs and help create an environment that will create more jobs.
Mitchell is hoping to drive the economy through private foreign and local investments. "We cannot borrow or cut out our way out of this crisis," he said.
The Grenadian leader announced that his government will pursue a robust foreign policy, expanding cooperation to South and Central American, Asia and Africa. He said all good investors are welcome and no one will be maligned by the government, alluding to the reputation gained by the Tillman Thomas government of being unwelcome to foreign investment.
He called on his team to be humble, warning that the people would not tolerate arrogance.
"Insensitivity must give way to a new spring of humility," said Mitchell, who begins his third week as prime minister after achieving a historic second, clean sweep of the polls. He also won all 15 seats in 1999.