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New Trinidad Cabinet


New Trinidad Cabinet

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad –  Four days after leading the People’s Partnership coalition to victory  in the May 24 general elections, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar yesterday revealed  her 26-member Cabinet team.In making the announcement, the newly installed Prime Minister said the team possesses diverse skills and expertise. She also sought to warn ministers that they should neither become “aloof” nor accept mediocrity.“Never become aloof . . . stay grounded, keep connected  to the people, earn their respect,”  she said, adding there is “no room  for personal egos”.“This is not about us, it is about the people, they have the power to dismiss us,” she said, warning also that “there is no room for arrogance” and no “time for personal agendas”.Among those taking the oath before President George Maxwell Richards was the Vice President  of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), Austin Jack Warner, who is also chairman of the United National Congress. He was sworn in as Minister of Works and Transport, while former head of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Brigadier John Sandy was named National Security Minister.The former president of the powerful Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU), Errol Mcleod, was named Minister of Labour, Small  and Macro Enterprise Development.Former Central Bank governor and leader of the Congress of the People (COP) party, Winston Dookeran, was sworn in as Minister of Finance, while former independent senator Mary King was given the portfolio of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs.Controversial former High Court judge Herbert Volney was sworn  in as Minister of Justice, while attorney Prakash Ramadhar was named Minister of Legal Affairs.Former speaker of the Trinidad and Tobago parliament, Dr Rupert Griffith was named Minister of Tourism, while the new Minister  of Sports and Youth Affairs is the former national swimmer and talk show host Anil Roberts.The newly created Ministry of Tobago Development has been handed to Vernalla Alleyne Toppin, the successful Tobago Organisation  of the People (TOP) candidate, while Nizam Baksh, a long-serving legislator, has been named Minister  of Community Development.Stephen Cadiz is the new Minister of Trade and Industry, while the Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs is Carolyn Seepersad Bachan.Former mayor of Chaguanas, Surujrattan Rambachan, is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while  Dr Roodial Moonilal is the Minister  of Housing and the Environment.Vasant Bharath, who was not considered among the candidates to contest the elections, has been sworn in as the Minister of Food Production, Lands and Marine Affairs, while Chandresh Sharma is the Minister  of Local Government.Former calypso monarch, Winston Gypsy Peters, is the Minister of Arts and Culture, while the Minister of Public Utilities is Emmanuel George. (CMC)