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Fitzgerald Hinds during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet at President’s House on Wednesday.

The Opposition UNC has slammed the appointment of Stuart Young as National Security Minister and that of an “elderly” minister in the Youth Development ministry among other aspects of the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

The UNC’s Communication team yesterday issued a statement on the new Cabinet which was sworn in on Wednesday. This followed the final results of last Monday’s general election. The PNM won the election with 22 seats to UNC’s 19.

The UNC stated, “We have no confidence in the ability of this reconstituted Cabinet to take our country out of the crisis they put us in. Our prospects of a brighter future have been severely narrowed.”

“The swearing-in of Prime Minister Rowley’s Cabinet was a chance for the administration to offer some new hope to citizens. After five years of suffering the people, PM Rowley repackaged and repurposed his old team of incompetent ministers and, added some re-cycled ones, with the task to clean up their own mistakes of the past five years. Sadly, no new hope was offered.”

“The reappointment of Stuart Young as National Security Minister has to be one of the biggest slap (sic) in the faces of the people after he sat by and did nothing to stop the skyrocketing crime rate, which, under his watch, reached the highest in decades.”

“Our country has witnessed more deaths from crime under his watch than under COVID-19. Add to that the oxymoron of the appointment of an elderly (Fitzgerald) Hinds as Minister of Youth Development.”

“It was also reckless of the Office of the Prime Minister to suggest that some of the ministers appointed are ‘supporting ministers’ who may or may not attend Cabinet meetings. There is simply no provision in the Constitution or convention which allows for the appointment of ministers who are not members of the Cabinet or which allows some ministers to attend Cabinet ‘as required’ as was stated by Keith Rowley.”

“To conduct a cabinet like this, as was suggested by the Office of the Prime Minister is illegal, irrational, unlawful and contrary to our Republican Constitution.”

The UNC added, “With the reappointment of major ministerial portfolios such as Finance, Attorney General and National Security, one now wonders who they will continue to blame for their failures as they’ve been in office for the past five years. It’s clear the Prime Minister intends to continue the failed policies of the previous term he led.”

The UNC added, “We hope that this ‘new’ band of ministers can move swiftly to adequately address the basic issues plaguing the population such as unemployment, crime, infrastructural decay, and the decline of the energy sector…..there will be no honeymoon period for this incarnation of the Rowley regime. They must get down to doing the work of the people immediately.”