Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rowley fires Marlene McDonald

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley on Thursday fired Marlene McDonald as Minister of Housing and Urban Development. 
Marlene McDonald - FIRED
McDonald has been under fire from several sources for alleged breach of integrity rules. 

The charge has been led mainly by Kirk Waithe of the civic group Fixing TnT, Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge who reported the former minister to the Integrity Commission and Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. On Wednesday at a media briefing at her office Persad Bissessar reiterated her call for McDonald to be fired. She said if the Prime Minister failed to act she would take a censure motion to Parliament.

On Wednesday night Dr Rowley said on national television that he had new information about McDonald. "I saw what appears to be new information and I spent the day looking at it. And I just want to give the assurance to the national community, that if the facts bear out what is there and I have to take action, then I will," he said.

However none of the information circulating in the past few days is new. All of it had been in the public domain for months before last year's general election and the "new" information relating to activities that had been taking place for several years while McDonald was in opposition, serving as Chief Whip under Dr Rowley.

McDonald in the MP for Port of Spain South. She remains the representative for the constituency. But already there are calls on social media for her to resign the seat. There are also calls for swift police action in dealing with the several serious allegations against her. 
Randall Mitchell - moved to Housing

San Fernando East MP Randall Mitchell has been reassigned from Minister of Public Administration to the housing portfolio.

Mitchell was handpicked by Rowley as the candidate for the constituency. Former PM Patrick Manning had represented the constituency since 1971 and had declared his interest in running again.  

However, Rowley was reluctant to nominate his former boss and Manning withdrew his candidacy hours before he was scheduled to face the PNM's screening committee.

There have been two other cabinet changes.

The Prime Minister moved Maxie Cuffie to Public Administration, which porfolio he would hold in addition to his responsibilities as Communications Minister.
Maxie Cuffie - moved from Communication to Public Administration
Cuffie, a former journalist and MP for La Horquetta Talparo, has been communications minister since the PNM assumed office following the 2015 general election.

Stuart Young has been appointed Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in addition to his responsibility as a minister in the office of the Attorney General.
Stuart Young - added portfolio
Young is the MP for Port of Spain North/St. Ann's West and served as a temporary senator in the tenth parliament.

Young, Cuffie and Mitchell are rookie MPs.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai