Former Trade Minister: Timing of junior minister swap ‘very unusual’ | Portfolio requires continuity
Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has said he believes the timing of the recent portfolio swap of government’s two junior ministers is “very unusual”.
Penn, who is a former Junior Minister for Trade said that such portfolios need continuity and consistency in order to deliver the necessary results.
“I know he (Premier) talked about capacity building. I don’t see how much capacity can be built in a short space of time with all the major things that are happening especially in trade,” Penn said.
“Based on my knowledge, there needs to be some consistency there; especially coming into a new session where we’re doing a new budget and all these things are back on the agenda. There’s the consumer protection, the trade commission, the whole economic development and creating new avenues for economic growth. All those things that are on the table need someone who’s consistently looking at them, someone who’s consistently moving that agenda forward,” he added in an invited question from BVI News.
Things will be revealed eventually
While stressing that he will not speculate as to why the decision was made by Premier Andrew Fahie, Penn said that he believes things will reveal itself eventually.
“In terms of the decision, ultimately the Premier is the one responsible for all of the portfolios so he has the authority or the right to move them as he please. But for me, it seems very unusual that it is done around this time – end of year, budget process, finalising a lot of things that we are doing – that he would make that move,” Penn stated.
Meanwhile, former Junior Minister for Tourism under the previous NDP administration, Archibald Christian, said the decision made by Premier Fahie is one which occurs throughout the region.
“I don’t really have any opinion on it. Swapping a portfolio is something that happens to governments all over the world, including the Caribbean. So, the Premier, the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister have their liberty to make adjustments to the ministerial portfolio as they see fit,” Christian argued.
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