President David Granger appears to be strengthening his Ministry of the Presidency, by shifting Ministers into the Ministry with new portfolios.
Just weeks after shifting the Education Minister to the Ministry of the Presidency as Minister of Public Service, the President today confirmed that Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings, will also be shifted to the Ministry of the Presidency. She will serve the Ministry as Minister of Public Affairs.
It is not quite clear what the portfolio of Public Affairs will entail, however, when questioned about the move this morning, President Granger said Minister Hastings heading into the Ministry of the Presidency is a continuation of the process of rebalancing, adding that “it is a question of my own judgement. I continuously have to evaluate the workload of every Ministry and there is a continuous process of ensuring that the Government works well.”
News Source understands that senior government functionaries were encouraging the President to make Hastings the Minister within the Ministry of Education with responsibility for Youth, Sport and Culture.
Following the removal of Dr. Roopnarine from the Education Ministry, the junior Minister, Nicolette Henry, has been balancing the portfolios of Education and Youth, Sport and Culture.
Since taking office in 2015, President Granger has shifted around a number of Ministers. Minister Simona Broomes was one of the first to be shifted across to a new portfolio. She was relieved of the Labour portfolio under Social Protection and ended up at the Ministry of Natural Resources as its Junior Minister.
Minister Cathy Hughes was shuttled across from the Ministry of Tourism to take up the new portfolio as Minister of Public Telecommunications. Dr. George Norton was moves as Minister of Public Health and now has the portfolio of Minister of Social Cohesion in the Ministry of the Presidency. Minister Amna Ally was shifted from the Ministry of Social Cohesion to the Ministry of Social Protection and Minister Volda Lawrence was shifted across from the Social Protection Ministry to head the Ministry of Public Health.
Except for Hughes and Dr. Roopnarine, all of the other Ministers, who have been shifted around by the President, are senior members of the People’s National Congress, which is the largest party in the coalition government.
There have been calls for the President to relieve a number of other Ministers of their current portfolios, but he has not answered those calls that are related to Ministers who are from the Alliance for Change which is the other partner in the coalition.