New Grenada Cabinet sworn into office
ST GEORGE’S – Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has named a 14-member Cabinet following the March 13 general election, reiterating an earlier pledge to “broaden the social compact that we successfully implemented during the last term”.
Mitchell’s New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats at stake in the general election, the third time the party has achieved the feat since 1999 and Mitchell told hundreds gathered at the National stadium on the outskirts of the capital Sunday that his party would not embrace the “winner takes all” philosophy of the past.
“I repeat what I said at my swearing-in a few days ago that while my party might have won all the seats, this winner shall not take all. And so, we have already signalled our intention to broaden the social compact that we successfully implemented during the last term.
“We shall give new meaning to it in this coming era of inclusion, extending the membership and embracing youth participation. Once again, I invite every Grenadian to be part of this dialogue; and every organisation to seek representation at the table, including the (main opposition) National Democratic Congress.”
Mitchell said that “all ideas and contentions shall be welcomed, as we move forward together, in building a model society in the Caribbean basin”.
He said that the members of the new Cabinet “represent some of the most dedicated and passionate men and women you can find in the country.
“They have entered this covenant with you, fully cognisant of the challenge ahead, but willing and able to face them head on. For me, it is an honour and privilege, not just to serve for another term as Prime Minister, but to be able to lead such a team.”
Mitchell said that in choosing the new Cabinet he was particularly impressed and inspired by the many recommendations and the streams of comments and suggestions from all sectors of the general public.
“I have done a lot of listening and intense introspection this last week and a half. And with humility, I have sought to give meaning to this new mandate. I had open group and individual sessions with the senior management board that experienced team of civil service professionals, whose ideas and service I always appreciate.”
Prime Minister Mitchell said that he had spoken with the members of the new Cabinet reminding them “that one of the clear messages I heard throughout the campaign was a clamouring for change in how we operate in government; for greater efficiency and sensitivity, and curbing wastage and corruption in government services.
“And while people were reasonably satisfied, there is a demand – and rightfully so – for better value for their buck. Those elected, and those so appointed, are not to be Lord over the people; but their servants.” Mitchell said, adding “the next few weeks will be a period of reassessment and reassignment in this perpetual desire to make government work better for people”.
He said the average age of the new “Cabinet has dropped, and the appointments we are making through the senate and through some executive positions will further indicate our determination to refresh the leadership”.
He said much emphasis will be placed on the youth of the country warning “a nation only makes a down payment on anarchy and confusion if it fails to invest in dreams and ambitions.
“There will be an expanded role for the new Ministry of Youth – and your new ministers have been given the charge for an aggressive and expanded agenda for youth engagement and youth empowerment.”
Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, urged the new ministers to always act in the best interest of the citizens.
“I trust that as Ministers of Government you will honour faithfully the mandate given to you by your appointment and the special confidence which has been placed in you. It is my hope that you will act, always in the best interest of each and every citizen and I urge you all to do so for the greater benefit of our nation,” she said.
“Our country will rely on your dedication to duty, commitment to service and fairness in your actions for its continued growth and development,” she said. (CMC)