Cabinet line-up

Cabinet line-up

Mostly familiar faces among Holness 19-member team

Saturday, September 12, 2020

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AFTER a nearly six-hour huddle between Prime Minister Andrew Holness and key members of his Jamaica Labour Party team, Jamaica House last night announced a 19-member Cabinet of mostly familiar faces. There are only three newcomers in the group, which will be supported by nine state ministers and the attorney general.

The newcomers to the Cabinet are Aubyn Hill, Floyd Green and Everald Warmington.

Green has been designated minister of agriculture and fisheries, a portion of what used to also include the portfolios of industry and commerce.

Warmington is now minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Senator Hill joins him as minister without portfolio.

Among the state ministers there are only two

who are just entering representational politics — Marsha Smith, who has been assigned to finance and the public service, and Robert Nesta Morgan for education, youth and information. Outgoing Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis is expected to build on his experience at the parochial level as he performs his duties as state minister for local government and rural development.

Former Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams has been called to the rescue of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which has been plagued with charges of corrupt practices over the past year.

The chartered financial analyst and Harvard graduate, who attended Ferncourt High School in St Ann, will have to move quickly to win the confidence of educators, students and their parents as she seeks to sanitise a ministry that is still reeling from accusations arising in the Administration of her predecessor, former Senator Ruel Reid. There is also the threat of COVID-19 hanging over the entire education system.

Interestingly, former minister without portfolio in the Holnessled Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz has been shifted to Williams' former post as minister of science, energy and technology. Vaz's task of overseeing areas like housing and the environment will now pass to second-generation parliamentarian Pearnel Charles Jr, who has had the experience of handling these very critical issues during a brief stint at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation earlier as a senator.

Senator Matthew Samuda will return as minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, and half of what was once the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has been assigned to the veteran Audley Shaw. He is now minister of industry, investment and commerce.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has been returned to that ministry but will assume some added responsibilities for extending the availability of water and light in rural communities.

Edmund Bartlett will return to the COVID-19-battered Tourism Ministry, Karl Samuda will now take over responsibility for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Olivia Grange will return to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and Robert Montague still heads the Ministry of Transport and Mining, while Marlene Malahoo Forte is the attorney general-designate.

Mike Henry, who served in the previous Administration as minister of labour and social security following the May 29 passing of Shahine Robinson, was not be returned to a Cabinet post.

The familiar faces in the Cabinet did not appear to be cause for concern last night for president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Keith Duncan.

“[I have] no concerns once the mind and body are agile,” he told theJamaica Observerin sharing his personal view of the new appointments.

“The Cabinet is a blend of experience and youth. I am particularly happy with the education portfolio being assigned to Fayval Williams, as education requires transformation. We also welcome the separation of agriculture and fisheries as this area requires focus and energy. Floyd Green is a good choice with his previous experience in this ministry. The amalgamation of housing, urban renewal, environment and climate change under Pearnel Charles Jr is another positive appointment. Overall, I wish the new Cabinet and the newly appointed junior ministers success as we move Jamaica forward united as a people,” he said.

Meanwhile, president of the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) David Wan, who had earlier called for more women and youngsters to be named to the Cabinet, was happy with the line-up.

“I counted six females and six 'youngsters' in the Cabinet,” he told theObserverlast night. “That's around 24 per cent each...that's a good composition! From a JEF standpoint we have always felt that labour and education should be in the same ministry as our education output should be synchronised with our labour markets. But all in all, the Cabinet has enough 'refreshment', as well the women and youngsters.”

Holness was sworn in on Monday as prime minister and minister of defence, economic growth and job creation.

Also sworn in were Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service; Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade; Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang; and Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness.

The other state minister-designates named yesterday are JC Hutchinson, who will now be in the Ministry of Transport and Mining; Smith, finance and the public service; Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, health and wellness; and Leslie Campbell, who has returned to Parliament as a senator after resigning from the St Catherine North Eastern seat earlier this year, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

In addition, Alando Terrelonge returns to the culture ministry; Zavia Mayne to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; and Dr Norman Dunn will join Shaw at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment.

The Cabinet minister-designates and the attorney general-designate will take the oath of allegiance and the oath of office during a ceremony at King's House on Sunday, while the swearing-in ceremony those designated ministers of state will be held at the same venue on Monday.


1. Andrew Holness– Prime Minister, Defence, Economic Growth and Job Creation

2. Dr Horace Anthony Chang– Deputy Prime Minister and National Security

3. Dr. Nigel Clarke– Finance and the Public Service

4. Senator Kamina Johnson Smith– Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

5. Dr Christopher Tufton– Health and Wellness

6. Desmond McKenzie– Local Government and Rural Development

7. Olivia Grange– Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

8. Edmund Bartlett– Tourism

9. Robert Montague- Transport and Mining

10. Fayval Williams– Education, Youth and Information

11. Delroy Chuck– Justice

12. Daryl Vaz– Energy, Science and Technology

13. Karl Samuda- Labour and Social Security

14. Floyd Green– Agriculture and Fisheries

15. Audley Shaw– Industry, Investment and Commerce

16. Pearnel Charles Jr– Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change

17. Matthew Samuda– Senator and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security

18. Everald Warmington– Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation

19. Aubyn Hill– Senator and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation


1. Marsha Smith– Finance and Public Service

2. Leslie Campbell– Senator and State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

3. Juliet Cuthbert Flynn– Health and Wellness

4. Homer Davis– Local Government and Rural Development

5. Alando Terrelonge– Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

6. J C Hutchinson– Transport and Mining

7. Robert Morgan– Education, Youth and Information

8. Zavia Mayne– Labour and Social Security

9. Dr. Norman Dunn– Industry, Investment and Commerce

Attorney General-designate Marlene Malahoo Forte

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