BARBADOS-Prime Minister Mottley names new Cabinet, plans to amend Constitution

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley Saturday named a 30-member Cabinet, less than a 48 hours after she led her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a clean sweep of all 30 seats in the Parliament.

She has also indicated plans were afoot to reform the Constitution to allow for the main opposition party to name two persons in the Senate given the results of the May 24 general election.

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley (Photo courtesy Barbados Today)

Mottley, the first woman to head a government in this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, said that the members of the Cabinet will be sworn in at a public event on Sunday at a venue opposite the government headquarters on the outskirts of the capital.

“Members of the public are also welcomed to attend and to witness the swearing in of the people’s government,” she said, adding that the Cabinet “will be relatively large because I have not only considered the mandate given to us by the people but also the scope of the work to be done and the level of expertise at our disposal among elected members”.

In a radio and television broadcast, she said she would be holding the ministers to “very high standards of efficiency and productivity and therefore offered to share the workload across a significant portion of the parliamentary group.

She argued that the theory of a small cabinet would “create an unrealistic setting for members to function effectively and to produce in this prevailing environment.

“Given the dire state of our economy and the tremendous work that will be involved in rescuing and rebuilding this country, the salaries of a few extra ministers are insignificant given that there will be extra savings from the containment of wastage and the curtailment of corruption in my Cabinet.”

The 53-year-old Prime Minister said that from the structure and layout of the Cabinet, there would be the “traditional bedrock portfolios” as well as embracing new concepts and initiatives.

She said that these are all vital components of the new “multifaceted government and economy we are seeking to create all of which was outlined very clearly in our manifesto”.

In her broadcast, Prime Minister Mottley said that given the composition of the new Parliament and in keeping with the provisions of the law that three members of the Senate appointed to the Cabinet, “we shall comply with the Constitution”.

“It is in that vein we have constructed the new government of Barbados,’ she said and that she has discussed the situation with the Governor General Sandra Mason, in particular, the fact that the Constitution does not make provisions for opposition Senators in the absence of a Leader of the Opposition.

“We have discussed the need for an urgent amendment of the Constitution to allow the opposition political party securing the highest number of votes to recommend two appointments to the Senate because we believe that even though there has been no official leader of the opposition, my government would wish to have accommodated the views of the main opposition party that secured the largest amount of votes.”

While there were seven political parties that contested last Thursday’s general election, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), which had formed the government over the past 10 years, emerged as the second highest in terms of voters.

“It is only fair to the country that therefore those amendments be made to be able to secure their voice rather than to have them absent from the Parliament of Barbados,” she said, adding that in the event that the DLP failed to take up the offer, the Governor General will appoint two Senators “acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister” after consultation with various stakeholder groups.

The following is the list of the names of the new Cabinet.

“Prime Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment – Mia Mottley

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs – Dale Marshall

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training and Leader of Government Business – Santia Bradshaw

Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development – George Payne

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Leader of Government Business in the Senate – Senator Dr Jerome Walcott

Minister of International Business and Industry – Ronald Toppin

Minister of Environment and National Beautification – Trevor Prescod

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs – Cynthia Forde

Minister of Tourism and International Transport – Kerrie Symmonds

Minister of Transport Works and Maintenance – Dr William Duguid

Minister of Health and Wellness – Jeffrey Bostic

Minister of Home Affairs – Edmund Hinkson

Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce – Dwight Sutherland

Minister of Energy and Water Resources – Wilfred Abrahams

Minister in the Ministry of Finance – Ryan Straughn

Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment – Marsha Caddle

Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade – Sandra Husbands

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations – Colin Jordan

Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Rural Development – Charles Griffith

Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment – Adrian Forde

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy – Kirk Humphrey

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security – Indar Weir

Minister in the Ministry of Transport Works and Maintenance – Peter Phillips

Minister of the Creative Economy, Culture and Sports – John King

Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology – Senator Kay McConney

Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs- Senator Lucille Moe

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