Saturday, June 15, 2024

Two months later, PM Barrow reshuffles Cabinet again


The office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow issued a release on Saturday, October 19th announcing yet another reconfiguration in his Cabinet. The new reshuffling came just two days after former Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North Area Representative Honourable Gaspar Vega resigned from Cabinet. It also coincided with the end of an 11-day countrywide strike by teachers who had been demanding good governance from the Government.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Prime Minister Dean Barrow

The new Cabinet configuration saw the removal of Senator and Minister Honourable Godwin Hulse from being in charge of the Police Ministry. His removal comes a little over a month from when the first Cabinet reshuffle happened on August 1st. Prime Minister Barrow has appointed himself as the new Minister of Police, along with his current portfolio in the Ministry of Finance.

Honorable Godwin Hukse
Honorable Godwin Hukse

In addition to being Minister of Immigration, Hulse was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development, a portfolio previously held by Vega. Honourable Dr. Omar Figueroa will continue to act as Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, with his focus on Forestry, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development. Honourable Beverly Williams will continue as Minister of State for the Ministry of Immigration.
Other significant changes in the Cabinet see the transition of the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, from Barrow’s portfolio to Honourable Hugo Patt. He has now become Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities. There were no changes for the Minister of State for Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities held by Honourable Frank ‘Pappa’ Mena.
There were no changes in the Ministry of Works and thus, the Honourable Rene Montero will retain that Ministry. On the other hand, Honourable Edmond Castro will be Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management.
Despite this change in Cabinet, which met one of the demands from the Belize National Teachers Union, in regards to the removal of Minister Hulse from the Ministry of Police, no configuration was made to the Ministry of Defence. That portfolio is currently held by Honourable and Belmopan Area Representative Minister John Saldivar who was suspended after a leaked document indicated that William Mason and Saldivar were engaged in business, long after he claimed he had cut ties with Mason (presently remanded at the Belize Central Prison for murder).

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