PM Douglas and delegation witness swearing-in of new Antigua-Barbuda Cabinet

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 19TH 2014 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas was among invited guests who witnessed Wednesday’s swearing in of the new Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Cabinet of Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne.

Also attending the ceremony were St. Kitts and Nevis’ Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin; Minister of Health, Social and Community Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd; Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade and St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party candidate for St. Christopher 8, Dr. Terrance Drew.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has named a 12-member Cabinet that includes several familiar faces, a female and a few newcomers.

The ministers took their oaths of office at Government House before making their way to the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) for a public ceremony.

The swearing-in ceremony, projected on large LED screens, saw Samantha Marshall, a newcomer, assuming the portfolio of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development.

Another newcomer, Michael Browne, had his dreams realised after he was appointed Minister of Education, Science and Technology.

Wednesday’s swearing-in also saw a number of returnees including Asot Michael, the minister responsible for Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy; Molwyn Joseph is the new minister of Health and the Environment; and Robin Yearwood, minister responsible for APUA, Utilities and Information — all of whom served under the Lester Bird administration.

Bird, the prime minister between 1994 and 2004, was absent from the ceremony because of ill health, but is to be appointed “senior minister.”

Prime Minister Browne found favour with Eustace “Teco” Lake and entrusted him with Public Works and Housing. The country’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is Charles “Max” Fernandez.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, and Barbuda Affairs went to Arthur Nibbs who entered the Lower House with just one vote over his opponent in the June 12 General Election.

Meanwhile, Melford Nicholas is the Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Information Technology and Information minister, Paul ‘Chet’ Greene has oversight for Trade, Industry and Commerce, National Festivals, Culture and Sports, while Dean Jonas is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

One by one, the ministers took three oaths: allegiance, office and secrecy and promised to serve the people of Antigua & Barbuda “without fear or favour”.

Last week Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin was appointed Attorney General, and minister responsible for Legal Affairs, Labour, Immigration and Police.

After the official ceremony, Prime Minister Browne, who is also minister responsible for Finance, told a large gathering at the ARG that he has recommitted himself to serving, but that the evening was about “saying thank you to everyone.”

“I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity to serve Antigua & Barbuda at the highest level,” the prime minister said.

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