Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
yesterday promoted Gary Griffith, her for-
mer national security adviser, to the post
of National Security Minister, "fired" two
ministers and reshuffled and split the port-
folios of several United National Congress
(UNC) frontliners in her third Cabinet
Griffith, who replaced Emmanuel George,
former state board chairman Gerald Hadeed
and one-time senator Raziah Ahmed will
be brought into the Parliament as People s
Partnership (PP) senators.
Persad-Bissessar, in announcing the three
additions and other changes before col-
leagues at her St Clair, Port-of-Spain, office
yesterday, said it was a move towards a rein-
"This ushers in a new era of my Gov-
ernment," the PM said, adding she wanted
to fast-track delivery and development.
"I can assure you that no one will escape
scrutiny of his or her performance and sat-
isfaction of the public interest. This is lift-
off time---launch of the most aggressive
development and progressive period of gov-
ernance in T&T s history."
The PM also said of the changes: "Every
single member listed here has been advised
of the accelerated progress expected in each
area for which they are responsible.
"Performance reviews will be conducted
on a regular basis and if necessary further
changes will be made. Citizens will also
have an opportunity to make opinions
known through the National Conversation
The Prime Minister removed Jamal
Mohammed from the Communications
Ministry after he served a year and Christlyn
Moore from the Justice Ministry. Moore was
brought in last September to replace Herbert
Volney, who was fired over the Section 34
Persad Bissessar, however, said: "I do
believe they did very well but I want
improved delivery...we ll have further dis-
cussions with them (on future plans for
Mohammed and Moore)."
Mohammed was replaced by former Air-
ports Authority chairman Hadeed and
Moore by George.
Griffith was a captain in the army and
was also a high profiler with the previous
UNC administrations. He subsequently
joined the COP, returned to the UNC in
2010, only to resign again in June.
The Prime Minister said Griffith was
familiar with the Government s plans for
national security and had been an adviser
to the National Security Council. She said
she wanted someone with a military back-
ground to drive national security projects.
Saying George had been an interim secu-
rity minister, the PM said he had been excel-
lent in that area and had the skills for his
new portfolio as Justice Minister.
Persad-Bissessar appointed Ahmed to the
post of Minister of State in the Ministry of
Gender, Youth and Child Development.
Ahmed, an insurance executive, had served
in the Senate during 2000 to 2007.
Ahmed will function alongside Clifton
De Coteau, who was switched from Ministry
of National Diversity and Social Integration
to head Gender, Youth and Child Develop-
Replacing De Coteau to head the Diversity
Ministry is COP MP Rodger Samuel, who
has been promoted from his position as
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime
Samuel last month had threatened to
resign, then embarked on a fast for T&T.
The COP had lobbied for him to be given
bigger responsibilities, party officials said
The PM also split the ministries of UNC
frontliners Suruj Rambachan and Roodal
Moonilal and shifted Chandresh Sharma.
Rambachan lost Local Government to
Marlene Coudray, who formerly held Gender,
Youth and Child Development. Rambachan
retained the Works Ministry.
Moonilal s mega-Ministry of Housing,
Land and Marine Affairs was divided with
former Minister of State Jairam Seemungal.
Moonilal retained Housing and Urban Devel-
opment, while Seemungal, formerly a junior
minister in Food Production, was promoted
to Minister of Land and Marine Resources.
Sharma was shifted from Transport to
Tourism, while Tourism Minister Stephen
Cadiz was made Transport Minister. The
other portfolios remained untouched.
Persad-Bissessar yesterday insisted there
was no "cabal" in the Government and no
one advised her on who to hire or fire.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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George, who replaced Jack Warner, himself a
replacement for Brig John Sandy as the Govern-
ment grappled with finding a formula for the
crime problem, said he wasn t disappointed by
his shift from the security ministry. He said one
never gets all the things done, but he would leave
his performance to others to judge.
Incoming Communication Minister Hadeed
said: "I can only promise to be truthful to the
media, communicative and honest with the media.
"When you see how I operate, we ll work for
the betterment of T&T. It s not difficult. We
haven t communicated with the people as well as
we should have and I hope to change that."
Incoming Minister of State (Gender, Youth Min-
istry) Ahmed said it was "time to mainstream
many of the policies on the table for too long,
and translate them into projects quickly."
New Local Government Minister Marlene
Coudray said she was unsure if she would be
piloting the proportional representation bill in
Parliament today. She said she hoped to improve
structures for delivery and performance in cor-
Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal, meanwhile,
said he was relieved his ministry had been split
with new Minister Jairam Seemungal.
Moonilal said his former ministry had been
huge, with a lot of work.
"Now I can concentrate in the next 20 months
a lot more on constituency work and political
campaigns we have to face ahead," he said.
Moonilal said as an MP "in great demand" and
PP House leader, he had a lot of work.
On the Prime Minister s extension of an olive
branch to all opposition groups, Moonilal said this
approach would be "embracing of all including
Mr (Jack) Warner.
"We put country first and personalities sec-
ond...Mr Warner has his own political house, but
in the fullness of time I m sure we ll be able to
work with all those truly interested in T&T s devel-
Moonilal said today s Parliament session on
proportional representation legislation would go
"way into the night" and included the presentation
of a local government EBC order. He said he
expected PNM support on the bill.
Jamal Mohammed, who lost the Communica-
tions portfolio, said with a smile: "I got a chance
to serve my country and I m very grateful. (I m)
Friday, September 6, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 5th SEPTEMBER, 2013
PM on Cabinet reshuffle:
Lift-off time for
"Performance reviews will be
conducted on a regular basis and if
necessary further changes will be
made. Citizens will also have an
opportunity to make opinions
known through the National
---Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Gerald Hadeed, Communications Minister
Raziah Ahmed, Junior Minister Gender,
Youh and Child Development
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