Tobago Senator Terrance Baynes moves out of the Senate to make way for another Tobagonian, Christlyn Moore.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was no doubt keenly aware of the impending Tobago House of Assembly elections, as she announced Moore's appointment, a source said.
Moore, whose relationship with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan dates back to their law school days together, is to be sworn in next Tuesday or Wednesday. "She is still tying up ends at her office," the source stated.
She replaces Herbert Volney as Justice Minister. Volney was fired on Thursday night by Persad-Bissessar for his part in the early proclamation of Section 34. Volney joins Mary King, Therese-Baptiste Connelis, Nan Ramgoolam, Subhas Panday, Verna St Rose-Greaves, John Sandy and Collin Partap as persons who lost their ministerial portfolios.
Baynes said yesterday he was asked to relinquish his position as a government senator "in the national interest" and he willingly agreed.
He said the request was made by Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP), Ashworth Jack on Thursday. "I was not strong-armed (forced into resigning), I was merely asked and I considered it," he told the Express. So he resigned? "Technically. However you want to put it. But it would be inaccurate to say that I was fired. It was a decision I made based on the present situation."
Lead Counsel for the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 coup attempt, Avory Sinanan, said that having had the privilege of working with Moore at the Commission of Enquiry and other matters, he knew she was diligent, hard-working and imbued with a sense of patriotism.
"I am confident that she would acquit herself in the discharge of her function as Minister of Justice with dignity and distinction. I am extremely heartened that a person of her calibre has been appointed as Minister of Justice. And I want to extend my earnest, sincere congratulations and best wishes to her in her new incarnation," he said.
Moore was the junior counsel at the Commission. Asked what would the Commission now do to fill the gap, Sinanan said the Commission's loss was the country's gain.