Soft shake
Floyd Green back; new ministry created; Tufton, Chang hold firm

Andrew Holness on Monday recalled Floyd Green to the Cabinet in a shuffle of the Executive that largely surprised political watchers who had expected more significant changes.

However, the prime minister said the shuffle is designed to give “greater focus and attention” to constitutional and legal reform with the creation of a Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs headed by his former Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte.

At the same time, Holness pulled the information portfolio into the Office of the Prime Minister, a move that will likely see him gift its responsibility to one of his closest allies, Robert Nesta Morgan, who has been appointed minister without portfolio.

Additionally, the prime minister moved the embattled Robert Montague from the Ministry of Transport and Mining to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation which now re-incorporates the housing, urban renewal, environment and climate change portfolios formerly under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal.

He also disappointed critics of National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang and Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton by keeping them in their respective portfolios.

In addition to the focus on constitutional and legal reform, Holness said the changes are aimed at improving the pace of development and passage of legislation through the Parliament.

“These changes are also designed to facilitate greater coordination and synergy of resources on further increasing the number of housing solutions at affordable prices as well as the development and pursuit of new economic opportunities, such as the blue and the green economy as we recover from the pandemic,” the prime minister said in a late evening news release.

“As the Government moves towards fulfilling its mandate, increasing the pace of implementation of projects, and transitioning its management of the pandemic, there is also greater need for coordination in the dissemination of timely and accurate information to the public,” Holness said.

Up to Monday, the information portfolio was held by Fayval Williams, who still has responsibility for education and youth.

Other notable changes in the Cabinet are veteran Audley Shaw is now in charge of the Ministry of Transport and Mining; minister without portfolio Matthew Samuda being moved from the Ministry of National Security to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Senator Aubyn Hill appointed Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce; and Pearnel Charles Jr taking over at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the job Green held up to last September when he resigned following public backlash after a video surfaced showing him and several other people in clear breach of COVID-19 protocols under the Disaster Risk Management Act at a social gathering on a no-movement day.

Green, who announced his resignation in a release, said that he had disappointed many people, including his family, his son, the prime minister and, most importantly, the people of Jamaica.

“No matter how briefly, and regardless of the circumstances, I should never have participated in any engagement that could indicate a lack of appreciation of the difficult and serious realities that now face the entire country,” he said. “My actions have demonstrated a lack of sensitivity for the difficult realities that all of us are facing currently.”

It was not clear from the release what duties will be assigned to Green, who is now minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Holness also assigned Homer Davis, the former minister of state in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to the Office of the Prime Minister in Western Jamaica “to oversee and coordinate special projects and major developments, eg [the] Montego Bay perimeter road, in western parishes”.

Last night political analysts saw that assignment as a move by the Government to strengthen its hold on western Jamaica where it swept all 12 constituencies in its 49-14 seat landslide over the People's National Party in the 2020 parliamentary election.

Additionally, the prime minister moved junior minister Zavia Mayne from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to the national security ministry in a similar capacity.

There was no place for Dr Andrew Wheatley, the former minister of science, energy and technology who last week admitted in an interview with the Jamaica Observer that he was open to returning to the Cabinet.

Wheatley had resigned from the Cabinet in July 2018 as scandals engulfed a number of entities under his portfolio.

Meanwhile, the prime minister announced the appointment of former Contractor General Dr Derrick McKoy as Attorney General. McKoy was also dean of the Faculty of Law at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

The Cabinet: 

Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Robert Morgan, minister without portfolio

Floyd Green, minister without portfolio

Homer Davis

Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Robert Montague, minister without portfolio

Clifford Warmington, minister without portfolio

Matthew Samuda, minister without portfolio

Ministry of National Security

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Horace Chang

Zavia Mayne, minister of state

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Pearnel Charles Jr

Frank Witter, minister of state

Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports

Olivia Grange

Alando Terrelonge, minister of state

Ministry of Education and Youth

Fayval Williams

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

Dr Nigel Clarke

Marsha Smith, minister of state

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

Kamina Johnson Smith

Leslie Campbell, minister of state

Ministry of Health and Wellness

Dr Christopher Tufton

Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, minister of state

Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce

Aubyn Hill

Norman Dunn, minister of state

Ministry of Justice

Delroy Chuck

Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Marlene Malahoo Forte

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

Desmond McKenzie

Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology

Daryl Vaz

Ministry of Tourism

Edmund Bartlett

Ministry of Transport and Mining

Audley Shaw

JC Hutchinson, minister of state

Ministry of Labour and Social Security

Karl Samuda

Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Dr Christopher Tufton
Floyd Green
Dr Horace Chang
Robert Montague

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