VIDEO: No Cabinet reshuffle

PM will not interfere unless ministers not doing their jobs

BY DESMOND ALLEN Executive Editor — Special Assignment

Monday, February 03, 2014    

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A Cabinet reshuffle is not immediately on the cards, head of Government and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has indicated to the Jamaica Observer.

"When ministers are performing very well, then I will not interfere. What I want is for the work to be done. My Cabinet is given that charge. I believe in joined-up government, that each area, if there is a challenge and the other areas can move in to help, we work together to resolve it," the prime minister said in an interview, the full report of which will be published in Wednesday's edition of the newspaper.

Asked whether she was contemplating a Cabinet reshuffle at the start of the new year, Simpson Miller said a swift 'no'. She acknowledged that crime and violence was plaguing the country, but stressed that crime-fighting was not a job for the national security minister (Peter Bunting) alone.

"Not one of us can be comfortable. Nobody can be happy. We have to get it right. But I think it has to do with more than just the minister. We have to mobilise the communities," she insisted.

Simpson Miller was especially struck by a recent violent attack on a minister of religion, noting that in rural Jamaica, where she grew up, pastors were loved and respected.

"One thing I do know is that where communities are united and where they are well organised we do not have that. Unless people go in to disturb them, there is always peace. We have to get back to the basics, the values and attitudes, the love and respect for each other, how we can unite as a people. You know, if we do not unite as a people, we're not going to get it right in Jamaica," she said.

"We have too many divisions. I don't mind political parties — yes, you have a responsibility to defend your party and to want your party to win — but when it comes to certain issues, we must bear in mind that Jamaica is bigger than both political parties combined. We have a role and a responsibility that when the people elect us we are supposed to bear in mind that we are the Government of all the people, not some," the prime minister stressed.





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