PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar will Monday announce her first Cabinet re-shuffle more than one year after her coalition People’s Partnership government came into office.
The swearing-in of three new ministers was scheduled to take place Saturday at 4.00 pm (local time), according to a brief statement from the Office of the Prime Minister which gave no details of the additions to the Cabinet.
However, it was subsequently postponed with no reasons being advanced for the change.
“We regret the inconvenience,” ended the statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, which said the ceremony will now take place on Monday at 10.30 am.
Although the government statements gave no clue as to what the changes will be, the Trinidad Express newspaper, quoting sources, said that Health Minister Therese Baptiste will be axed from the Cabinet, while the embattled Works and Transport Minister Austin ‘Jack’ Warner is expected to be relieved of the Transport portfolio.
The newspaper said that Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan will be given additional responsibilities with the creation of the Ministry of Information.
The five-party coalition government was swept into office on the May 24 general elections last year after it won 29 of the 41 seats in parliament.
There have been widespread calls for the Prime Minister to dismiss Warner, following the bribery scandal that engulfed the International Football Federation (FIFA).
Warner resigned his position as vice president of the world football governing body as a result of the controversy that followed allegations that he and former FIFA presidential candidate, Mohamed Bin Hammam, had offered US$40,000 to national associations of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) at a meeting in Trinidad, in return for their votes in the FIFA presidential election on June 1.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar has said she would stand by her embattled senior minister who is also the chairman of the United National Congress (UNC), the leading member of the People’s Partnership coalition.
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