An unprecedented 11th minister was fired yesterday in the person of Glenn Ramadharsingh. A 12th minister, Jack Warner, left of his own volition amidst allegations of financial impropriety, following the Concacaf Ethics Committee report.
The People’s Partnership Government has not yet completed four years in office.
Out of the 11 people fired, four were axed in response to specific allegations.
In May 2011, Mary King became the first minister to be dismissed in this government, following allegations of conflict of interest in the award of a contract.
Next in line was Minister in the Ministry of National Security Collin Partap in August 2012, following allegations that he refused to take a breathalyser test after leaving a nightclub.
One month later then Justice Minister Herbert Volney was given the boot, for allegedly misleading the Cabinet over the Section 34 fiasco.
Now Ramadharsingh has been dismissed as Minister of the People and Social Development.
Sources said yesterday there were calls for Ramadharsingh to resign his Caroni Central seat in the Parliament as well, a seat which the UNC has never lost and is therefore considered very winnable for that party.
Apart from having a specific infraction levelled at them, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has also fired ministers for apparent non-performance. In these instances she gave the vague reason of Cabinet reorganisation.
In June 2011, Subhas Panday, Minister in the National Security Ministry, was relieved of his portfolio in the first Cabinet reshuffle, along with Therese Baptiste-Cornelis and Nan Ramgoolam. They were all senators and were replaced by Devant Maharaj, Verna St Rose-Greaves and Nicole Dyer Griffith (who was a parliamentary secretary).
By the next reshuffle in June 2012, St Rose-Greaves was out, along with John Sandy and Dyer Griffith. In came Jamal Mohammed and Marlene Coudray.
Mohammed’s appointment was however short-lived. He was fired in September 2013 and replaced by Gerry Hadeed.
In September 2012, when Volney was fired, Christlyn Moore was appointed. Moore’s appointment was terminated in September 2013 when Gary Griffith was appointed National Security Minister. Griffith replaced Jack Warner who had resigned in April of that year and was temporarily replaced by Emmanuel George.