Published On: Fri, Jun 20th, 2014

New Antigua-Barbuda cabinet sworn-in

AntiguaST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The new Antigua and Barbuda Cabinet of Prime Minister Gaston Browne was sworn in on Wednesday. The ministers took their oaths of office at Government House before making their way to the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) for a public ceremony.

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

The swearing-in ceremony saw Samantha Marshall, a newcomer, assuming the portfolio of social transformation and human resource development.

Another newcomer, Michael Browne, 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 in a previous 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.”

Eustace ‘Teco’ Lake was entrusted 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 and 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, 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 and Barbuda at the highest level,” the prime minister said.

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