Skerrit names cabinet
ROSEAU, Dominica – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Tuesday named a 17-member cabinet more than a week after his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) was swept to power in the general election.
The ceremony was held at the Windsor Park in the heart of the capital and attended by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, her Antigua and Barbuda counterpart, Gaston Browne and St Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves,
Among the notable absentees from the new cabinet, which includes five women, is Francine Baron, who served as Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, a position that has now gone to the former Environment Minister Dr Kenneth Darroux.
Skerrit, who is also the Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Investment, Planning, Resilience, Sustainable Development, Telecommunications and Broadcasting, did not include his wife, Melissa Poponne Skerrit into the cabinet but appointed her to be the chairperson of the Roseau Vision 2020, mandated to help develop the capital into a new city.
A notable appointment to the cabinet is Reginal Austrie, who has been named Senior Minister with responsibility for Housing and Urban Development. Skerrit told the ceremony that the post of Senior Minister is not new to the Commonwealth and while he had not named a deputy prime minister, he was allowing for the new members to lead in the transition of the government and party into a new environment.
Rayburn Blackmoore was returned as the Minister of National Security and Home Affairs and Skerrit said some of the portfolios were new but reflected the changing global environment and the need for the new government to implement the measures contained in the “Dynamic Dominica” manifesto of the party.
In his address, Skerrit, who became the first prime minister in the Caribbean to be win four consecutive general elections, criticised the decision of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to contest of the results of the elections in the High Court.
The UWP won three of the 21 seats in the December 6 general election and Skerrit said he was at a loss to understand how the opposition party would be seeking to contest the election results in 18 constituencies when the entire general election was conducted under the same laws, processes and rules.
“One cannot accept the results in three constituencies as good, trust worthy and legitimate while rejecting the results in the other 18 constituencies. There will be a Parliament made up of 21 elected members…there is a level of ill-logic and absurdity in this reasoning and approach that will not stand the test of scrutiny at the national or international level.
“It is particularly obvious having regard to the fact that the very external entities with which interference and support was sought by the UWP were present in our country as election observers,’ Skerrit said, saying he wanted to thank all election observers, including those from the Organization of American States (OAS) that had declared the polls free and fair and representative of the will of the electorate.
The Following is the full list of persons named to the new Cabinet in Dominica.
“Roosevelt Skerrit – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Resilience, Economic Affairs, Investment, Planning, Sustainable Development, Telecommunications and Broadcasting
Senior Minister and Minister of Housing and Urban Development – Reginald Austrie
Minister of National Security and Home Affairs — Rayburn Blackmore
Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and Diaspora Relations – Dr. Kenneth Darroux
Minister of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security – Fidel Grant
Minister of Tourism, International Transport, and Maritime Initiatives – Denise Charles
Minister of Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors’ Security, and Dominicans With Disabilities — Dr Adis King
Minister of Trade, Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development — Ian Douglas
Minister of Governance, Public Service Reform, Citizen Empowerment, Social Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs — Gretta Roberts
Minister of the Environment, Rural Modernisation and Kalinago Upliftment— Cozier Frederick
Minister of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment — Dr Irving McIntyre
Minister of Public Works and The Digital Economy — Cassani Laville
Minister of Sports, Culture and Community Development — Roselyn Paul
Minister of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence — Octavia Alfred
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Telecommunications and Broadcasting — Oscar George
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning — Gregory “Karessah” Riviere
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and Diaspora Relations, with Specific responsibility for Diaspora Relations — Edward Registe
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, International Transport, and Maritime Initiatives, with special responsibility for Air and Sea Port Operations — Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry Of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, with particular responsibility for Community and Home Care — Kent Edwards (CMC)