Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles has weighed in on Monday’s reshuffle of the Cabinet, indicating that the Prime Minister has a duty to assign his resources in the best way he sees fit.
Charles, speaking during Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing at the administrative complex in Calder Hall, said reshuffles are not unusual.
“The Prime Minister has the responsibility to allocate his resources, in this case, his people resources, in the best way he sees fit, just as...I have the responsibility to allocate my people resources in the best way that I see fit. It is not unusual for there to be reshuffles of Cabinet. As a matter of fact, it is not the first reshuffle of the Cabinet, but it is only a partial reshuffle,” he said.
Charles also referred to the 1988 reshuffle of the Cabinet Prime Minister ANR Robinson in which all the members were terminated.
“In 1988, he fired the entire Cabinet and quickly reappointed an Attorney General. (Under) the Constitution, as is currently written, you could have only two ministers and have a functioning or legal Cabinet: the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.
"He then moved to appoint people as he saw fit, some of those persons in the original Cabinet, he did not reappoint.
"So that it is not an unusual move and if the Prime Minister at this time thinks that given the people resources he has available to him…then the Prime Minister would have made that judgement call,” he said.
Questioned as to whether there would be any THA reshuffle, as well as whether he had confidence in the work of all the secretaries and assistant secretaries to date, Charles said: “Could you imagine, if I intend to reshuffle my Executive Council I am sending notice? It is not best practice. "If by confidence, you mean that I am prepared to work to ensure that they deliver to the people of Tobago, then the answer is yes. I am mindful that there has to be a lot of coaching…the only person as secretary now with secretarial experience is the Finance Secretary. Every other secretary is new. There has to be a learning curve.
"So I am engaged at this time in tremendous coaching and development, and we would see how that goes.”