by Linda Straker
- Covid-19 pandemic put cabinet reshuffle on hold
- Government has 7 appointed senators in the 13-member senate
- New senators will be astute and aggressive in submitting advance questions to Leader of Government Business
The reassigning of ministerial portfolios to Grenada’s Cabinet was set to be announced in the first quarter of 2020, but the declaration by the World Health Organisation that Covid-19 had become a global public health pandemic caused Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, to put the reshuffle on hold.
“As I was going to announce, Covid-19 came so I may have to give it an additional month,” Dr Mitchell said on Monday, 1 June 2020 when asked about the pending announcement.
Since returning to government following the March 2018 General Elections in which the ruling New National Party (NNP) won all 15 constituency seats in the House of Representatives, there was 1 minor change to the cabinet.
That small change was removing the ministerial portfolio of Information from Senator Winston Garraway and reassigning it to Minister Emmalin Pierre who already held the ministries of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs.
Senator Garraway is a junior minister with responsibility for Disaster Management. He is expected to be featured in the press prominently for the 2020 hurricane season which officially commenced on 1 June and which will conclude on 30 November.
It is understood that the pending reshuffle which is seen as a mid-term political assessment for the government, will affect more than 4 ministers. Some will be moved to new ministries while others will be getting additional tasks or reduced responsibilities.
It is believed that the shakeup will also have implications for the Upper House which will be having 3 new opposition senators the next time it holds a session. These 3 new senators will be representing Tobias Clement who recently was appointed to the fill the vacant post of Leader of the Opposition.
Government has 7 appointed senators including the President in the 13-member senate. Three of six on the floor hold government ministerial portfolios while the other 3 are only described as members. These 3, support and always vote in favour of government matters.
However, it is anticipated that the new senators who will be representing Clement will be astute and aggressive in submitting advance questions to the Leader of Government Business in the house and by allowing more senators to serve in ministerial portfolios, the young members will gain ministerial experience and at the same time bring “ more debate weight” to the house.