The new People’s National Movement Cabinet is expected to be sworn in on Friday, party sources have indicated.
The venue is likely to be President’s House. This after Monday’s 2020 General Election where the PNM won 22 seats of the 41 contested. The United National Congress won the other 19.
The UNC has requested a recount in five seats while the Progressive Democratic Party’s Watson Duke has asked for one in Tobago East. As such, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has indicated the official results will be released after recounts are completed.
On a potential Cabinet, PNM sources hinted that a number of ministers may be brought in via the Senate.
They also tipped San Fernando West’s Faris Al-Rawi to return as Attorney General and St Joseph MP candidate Terrance Deyalsingh in Health.
There’s speculation Diego Martin North East’s Colm Imbert may be returned to Finance or go to Energy. Imbert had expressed interest in Energy prior to the 2017 poll and had obtained degrees in that field.
Arima winner Penny Beckles has been tipped for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Speculation has also extended to whether Brian Manning may be placed in the Office of the PM in the position of Parliamentary Secretary. His father, late former prime minister Patrick Manning, had started his political career as a PS. However, during the election campaign, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley had said his Government will include a Ministry of Technologies and Records to handle record digitisation. Part of PNM’s future government plan involves digitisation.
Senate appointments are also expected for PNM communication manager Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing and defeated St Augustine candidate Renuka Sagramsingh-Sookalal – both of whom were “stars” of PNM’s campaign platform.
But sources said defeated Chaguanas East candidate Clarence Rambharath may not serve in the Parliament again as a senator, since he was also defeated in Mayaro in 2015 (and was brought into the Senate then). Rambharat is tipped to be an advisor or serve within the state sector.
Other PNM sources tipped La Horquetta candidate Foster Cummings for Public Utilities, St Ann’s East’s Nyan Gadsby Dolly to Education and Port-of-Spain South’s Keith Scotland to the AG’s Ministry.
Insiders also speculated that former ministers Conrad Enill and Robert Le Hunte may also serve.
While former UNC MP Suruj Rambachan yesterday called for the PNM to appoint a House Speaker whom he said would treat the Opposition with“less contempt” than previous Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George did, some PNM officials didn’t rule out that she may be returned to the chair and that Senate President Christine Kangaloo may also head the Senate again.
Several ambassadors – such as Amery Browne – are still reportedly overseas due to the border closure.