Brent Symonette. Photos: Ahvia J. Campbell
NASSAU, Bahamas — Fourteen men and one woman took the oath of office on Monday during a ceremony at Government House in The Bahamas, bringing an end to speculation over who would make up the new Cabinet.
During the ceremony that took just over an hour, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said he would not hold a substantive portfolio.
“I made this decision in order to perform my primary constitutional duty as prime minister,” he said. “This primary constitutional duty is the coordination and oversight of the Cabinet of The Bahamas. As I have repeatedly noted, my government will be one of collegiality, collective responsibility and collaboration.
The 15 new Cabinet appointments are:
• Dr Duane Sands, minister of health
• Marvin Dames, minister of national security
• Dionsio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, with responsibility for Bahamasair
• Jeffrey Lloyd, minister of education, science and technology
• Frankie Campbell, minister of transport and local government
• Darren Henfield, minister of foreign affairs
• Romauld Ferrier, minister of the environment and housing
• Michael Pintard, minister of youth, sports and culture
• Dion Foulkes, minister of labor
• Brent Symonette, minister of financial services, trade and industry and immigration
• Renward Wells, minister of agriculture and marine resources
• Lanisha Rolle, minister of social services
• Brensil Rolle, minister of state for public service and National Insurance in the Office of the Prime Minister
• Elsworth Johnson, minister of state in the Ministry of Legal Affairs in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs
• Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister
The group joins Carl Bethel, who was sworn in on Friday as attorney general, and minister of legal affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, who was sworn in as minister of finance.
Minnis said on Monday that he will hold the Cabinet to the highest standard of ethical conduct in the performance of its duties and pledged to fire those who engage in wrongdoing.
“I want to send a message to my ministers, that should you engage in unsavory or (make) unethical requests to the permanent secretary and I discover or find this out, you will immediately be fired,” Minnis said.
“And I say to the permanent secretaries, should you not report such behavior and allow it to fester, you, too, shall be fired. It’s now the people’s time.”
Desmond Bannister, who was unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony, is expected to be sworn in as the minister of works.
The first Cabinet meeting was due to be held on Tuesday.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian