Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, September 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has noted that
former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
agreed to go ahead with legislation regarding the
appointment of a police commissioner when she
was in office and he hopes responsible conduct
will prevail when the People s National Move-
ment Government attempts to amend the law on
"We re not going to the Parliament to fight the
Opposition. This Government isn t going to engage
in any fruitless fight with the Opposition. If the
Opposition indicates they won t support a particular
legislation, we ll attempt to persuade them and
hopefully people will be guided by the oath of
office...we ll move to getting done what we can
get done," Rowley told reporters after yesterday s
swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet at
Queen s Hall, St Ann s.
He said Parliament would open before Republic
Day on September 24, likely on September 21.
The Rowley administration will present proposed
legislation including procedures to devolve authority
to Local Government, an amendment of the law
to appoint a CoP, whistleblower legislation, an
amendment to the procurement law which Gov-
ernment wants to introduce and proclamation of
Rowley also said he would not interfere with the
Las Alturas Commission of Enquiry, which the past
People s Partnership administration initiated. He
said the Government would await the findings but
"those are sideshows that will entertain us."
He also shrugged off the PP s intention to take
legal action seeking to have Monday s election result
declared null and void.
"Those are part of the UNC s internal politics,
where people are trying to explain themselves," he
Rowley also described as nonsensical the UNC s
claim that his administration was a "minority"
"These are things for them to console themselves
with---the election is over."
He said it was also either nonsensical or wor-
risome that the UNC had said they were ahead of
the PNM at 6 pm on polling day.
"How would anybody know you re ahead at 6
pm? The vote is secret...you could think so, but
the vote is secret, so those aren t serious things,"
Rowley noted yesterday the 9/11 anniversary and
the 14 T&T nationals who died in the destruction
of the World Trade Towers in 2001.
He also shared some insight into his youth when
he opened his address by relating how he d stood
on the stage of Queen s Hall as a Bishop High
School student participating in a competition and
been dumbstruck. He said he froze. His principal,
Mr Blackett, the only one there to support him,
was shocked since he (Rowley) always had the
"biggest mouth" in school. He said Blackett had
told him afterwards not to worry and that he was
"going to make it." He said that experience lived
with him until he entered politics in 1970 and "I
haven t stopped speaking since..."
The best person suited for
the Finance Ministry at this
challenging time is new
Finance Minister Colm Imbert,
Prime Minister Dr Keith Row-
ley has declared.
Imbert was among the 20
members of the new Rowley
Cabinet who took the oath of
office at Queen s Hall, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. (See full Cab-
inet listing on Page A5)
Following the swearing in of
his Cabinet, Rowley explained
the appointment of Imbert, for
whom the portfolio will be a
new experience following pre-
vious posts in Health, Works,
and Science and Tertiary Edu-
Rowley said, "The Ministry
of Finance is the most challeng-
ing area right now and will
remain so for quite some time.
What I ve done is put the most
experienced minister who has a
very high capacity for detailed
work, he s very technically sound
and Mr Imbert is the best per-
son...best suited for that posi-
To those who may say Imbert
lacks economic training, Rowley
told reporters after the ceremo-
ny, "It s economics that got us
where we are now. It is those
who call themselves economists
in the political areas that got us
where we are now, so maybe
somebody else might get us out
Addressing the new team and
guests during the function,
Rowley said, "As Prime Minister
I intend to hold every one of the
members to the oath of office
which demands that you act
without fear or favour, affection
"It is my style of management
to give responsibility and hold
people accountable. Ministers
will be held accountable but the
buck stops with the Prime Min-
ister---I take responsibility for
Rowley also said there was
enough to sustain everyone in
T&T, just "maybe not lavishly."
He, however, urged a change in
attitude from asking for "more
He added, "We will try to
share with everyone what is on
The 21-member team---
including Rowley---features six
people who served in People s
National Movement (PNM) gov-
ernments before, as well as 14
"newbies." It includes eight
women and five senator minis-
The first member of the Cab-
inet to be sworn in yesterday
was Clarence Rambharat, the
PNM s Mayaro candidate who
lost to the People s Partnership s
Rushton Paray in Monday s gen-
eral election. During the election
campaign Rowley had promised
Rambharath would be in Agri-
culture if the PNM formed the
Government. Rambharath was
one of five senator ministers
In addition to the cabinet
team, Rowley appointed defeated
Caroni Central candidate
Avinash Singh as a Parliamen-
tary Secretary in the Agriculture,
Lands and Fisheries Ministry.
Tobago East MP Ayanna
Webster-Roy was also appointed
a Minister of State in the Office
of the Prime Minister, but was
a late addition to the slate.
Saying mistakes were some-
times made, Rowley said he took
full responsibility for forgetting
to bring one document for the
swearing-in of Webster-Roy. He
joked, however, that she was
Tobagonian like himself and
would be able to take it. She was
later administered the oath of
office at President s House.
Hopes for support
on law to pick CoP
Rowley confident Imbert can steer Finance
He's got an eye for detail
President Anthony Carmona, right, presents Minister of Foreign
and Caricom Affairs Dennis Moses with his instruments during
yesterday's swearing-in ceremony at Queen's Hall, St Ann's.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday
told reporters he had put in place a Cabinet the
size of which he felt was required to run T&T
and a number of ministries had been absorbed.
He said the Water Resources aspect of that
previous ministry was in the Public Utilities
Ministry, Environment is now in Planning,
Justice and Legal Affairs in the Attorney
General's Ministry and the Arts portfolio was in
He also noted that Tobago Development was
in the Office of the PM and the Lands division
had been returned to the Agriculture Ministry.
"So there's some compression. But the public
service is still intact---what we've removed are
the ministers and bureaucracy," he said.
On the new ministers, Rowley told the
gathering he hoped the public had observed a
changing of the guard, in that there was a time
when holding office meant one had to be senior
in age with long, meritorious service, "(but) you'd
see a lot of youths, we've put affairs in the
hands of a lot of young people."
Along with them, he added, were other people
who had the experience to provide guidance.
"But we all have to serve all of the people of
T&T," Rowley added.
But he assured, "Today I want to say to T&T,
don't worry, everything's going to be all right."
Rowley also called for T&T to become the
model country the Mighty Sparrow sang about
and urged people against expecting a pay
cheque for every deed.
"I appeal to the national community to return
to the service of volunteerism to volunteer for
T&T...to do something without accepting a
financial reward. Not everything has a pay
cheque. Let us get rid of the 'gimme, gimme'
attitude. Let's be confident what we have done
in the dark can be defended in the light," he said.
The new Cabinet meets in retreat today at
the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, and will hold
its first cabinet meeting on Monday.
"We of the Cabinet will go on with boundless
faith in our destiny," he told the gathering.
Housing Minister Marlene Mc
Donald caused some amused
gasps when she flubbed her
lines while taking the oath of
office yesterday, saying she
swore to work "...without fear or
favour, affection or... goodwill."
The line of the oath actually
reads, "without fear or favour,
affection or ill-will."
When she realised the
mistake, Mc Donald re-read the
line saying "...without fear or
favour, affection or ill-will."
MINISTRIES ABSORBED IN NEW DISPENSATION
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