Skerrit names 18-member cabinet
Like an unmoveable rock, Alix Boyd Knights remains as Speaker of the House
Cheered on by supporters of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit revealed the names of members of his cabinet at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the setting sun painted the park bright yellow.
There were two major surprises: Francine Baron, the former Attorney General and former Dominica High Commissioner to Britain, is back in the Skerrit cabinet as minister of foreign and CARICOM affairs; business-man Robert Tonge is now Senator and minister responsible for tourism and urban renewal. Gone from the cabinet are three former ministers: Julius Timothy, former minister of health; former minister of telecommunications Ambrose George and former minister of national security Alvin Bernard- all three were defeated at the 8th December poll.
Who's Mariam Blanchard? That's the question many persons are asking now that Blanchard is thrust in the spotlight; she was sworn in as minister of state with responsibility for project planning and implementation.
And Alix Boyd-Knights remains, as unmovable as a huge rock on the shore of the Vieille Case beach, as Speaker of the House of Assembly. Boyd-Knights, observers suggest, is necessary to keep the lid on an anticipated boisterous opposition, their numbers doubled after last week's poll, their spirits high after capturing three more elected seats in parliament, their anger and frustration heightened after contesting the election again on an unleveled playing field.
Jahisiah Benoit, the president of the National Youth Council and Edward Registe of Grandbay have been named senators.
Ignoring criticism about the unnecessarily large size of his cabinet in the previous administration, Skerrit essentially kept the numbers by bringing in the non-elected Tonge, Baron and Blanchard to replace the defeated George, Timothy and Bernard.
The new cabinet includes:
Justina Charles- minister of youth, sports and constituency empowerment;
Dr. John McIntyre- minister of planning, economic development and investment;
Reginald Austrie-minister of housing, lands and water resource development;
Ian Pinard- minister of public works and ports;
Johnson Drigo- minister of agriculture and fisheries;
Catherine Daniel-minister of social services, family and gender affairs;
Ian Douglas- minister of trade, energy, and employment;
Rayburn Blackmore- minister of justice, immigration and national security;
Petter St Jean-minister of education and human resource development;
Rosalyn Paul-minister of commerce, enterprise and business development;
Dr. Kenneth Darroux-minister of health and the environment;
Kelver Darroux-minister of information, telecommunications and science;
Casius Darroux-minister for Kalinago affairs;
Senator Robert Tonge-minister of tourism and urban renewal;
Senator Francine Baron-minister of foreign and CARICOM affairs;
Senator Mariam Blanchard- minister of state with responsibility for project planning and implementation
Ivor Stephenson- parliamentary secretary in the ministry of health with responsibility for the environment.