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#378835 - 06/02/10 02:22 PM PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES CABINET CHANGES
Marty Offline
Surrounded by members of his Cabinet Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the much anticipated changes to his Cabinet. This included the addition of two new members of cabinet and the division of one ministry. While a new anti crime plan will be unveiled on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the changes are as a fundamental need to confront and defeat the challenge or crisis we have encountered as it relates to crime and violence.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“What was the Ministry of National Security will now be split into two. It has struck me and in speaking with Mr. Perdomo he confirmed that that ministry with all the portfolio subjects that come under it is too large; it is very difficult for one person to handle. We will now have as was the case in years past a separate Ministry of Defense and then we will have a dedicated Police and Public Security Ministry. That Police and Public Security Ministry will be headed by a minister who has no constituency to look after in terms of a political constituency, who has tremendous experience in private sector, who is able to speak the language of the stake holders we have been consulting who in fact formed part of the group that drafted the outlines of the plan that ultimately benefited so much from the consultations and what people had to say during those consultations. The news minister of the Police and Public Security will be Senator the Honorable Douglas Singh. The Honorable Carlos Perdomo will be the new Minister of Defense. No one need fear that separating the defense ministry from the police ministry will cause us to lose anything in terms of weight of numbers. Internal security is principally a matter for the police when there is a need to press the defense force and as has happened in Operation Jaguar even the Coast Guard into service to assist the police we will do that. Ultimately everybody report to National Security Council that I chair.”

The Prime Minister said the new Minister of Police and Public Security will need help from other front line ministries. Another change is that Minister of Education Patrick Faber will now take on the additional portfolio of Youth; a challenge Minister Faber told Love News he is looking forward to.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Well, I think it is a perfect marriage. It is something that one ministry or one portfolio complements the other. As you know many of our initiatives in the Ministry of Education over the last two years have been geared towards the young people and in fact the main focus of our ministry is to help young people develop themselves to that position where they can be productive in society. So we see the addition of the portfolio of youth to be and enhancement and it will be more work there is no doubt but we think that it can complement the work of the Ministry of Education and it can build on what is happening in the Ministry of Youth. What immediately comes to mind for instance is the Cadet Corps, the CYDP, the Youth for the Future and we see many different approaches being taken here. This is addition in of course to those in the private sector and those from the NGO’s and we believe that the more coordinated we can get the efforts to help our young people to be productive the better it is for this nation.”

Another major change is the appointment of a new Attorney General.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Police reform, Magistrate’s Court reform, judicial reform or at least creating the conditions for movement, creating movement so that we can see that together with whatever the police and the social ministries are doing we can move cases through the court process, we can perhaps have a dedicated court to deal with particular crimes. The crafting of new rules and regulations for the police department in the context of the reform of the department and the need to strengthen internal discipline and accountability, the need for some degree of freedom consistent with due process to be able to root out rogue elements within the police department. All these things will require a kind of legal backstop that also necessitates in my view the appointment of an Attorney General who can concentrate on just that. I have therefore asked Mr. B.Q. Pitts Senior Counsel to become. ”

Prime Minister Barrow said the appointment of the new attorney general should see an improvement as with the necessary reforms, cases should move more quickly through the courts. Other cabinet changes include Minister John Saldivar adding the Ministry of Sports to his present portfolio of Public Service, Governance Improvement and Elections and Boundaries. Minister Melvin Hulse loses the portfolio of Public Utilities to Minister Elvin Penner who while he lost the Youth Ministry retains that of Information and Broadcasting.

LOVE FM

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#378840 - 06/02/10 02:31 PM Re: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES CABINET CHANGES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

B.Q. who? The new Attorney General

Bernard 'BQ' Pitts

It had been in train for some time, and today Prime Minister Dean Barrow finally announced the changes to his Cabinet. They were neither sweeping nor inspiring. But at a time of severe pressures on the Government coffers, the changes increases Cabinet to twenty-three members and affects six ministers in the old deck. To cut to the chase, two new ministers are brought in from the private sector. The biggest surprise came in the appointment of Bernard Q Pitts as Attorney General. Pitts, is an old adversary of the Prime Minister and during the disturbances of the Heads of Agreement he was expelled from the UDP. That was in early 1990’s, and since that time Pitts continued to practice law primarily at the Magistrate Courts. Our legal sources say Pitts rarely appears in the Supreme Court and no one could recall seeing him appear in the Court of Appeal. According to the Prime Minister, Pitts will be required to carry out the necessary police and judicial reform.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“One other change that is being made that is also of particular importance in this context: police reform, magistrates court reform, judicial reform or at least creating the conditions for movement, creating movement so that we can see that together with whatever the police and the social ministries are doing we can move cases through the court process. We can perhaps have a dedicated court to deal with particular crimes. The crafting of new rules and regulations for the Police Department in the context of reform of the department and the need to strengthen internal discipline and accountability, the need for some degree of freedom consistent with due process to be able to root out rogue elements within the Belize Police Department. All these things will require a kind of legal backstop that also necessitates, in my view, the appointment of an Attorney General who can concentrate on just that. I have, therefore, asked Mr. B.Q. Pitts, Senior Counsel, to become the new Attorney General.”

With Pitts now in control of the office of the Attorney General, the Prime Minister said it would allow his predecessor, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington to concentrate on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Pitts and Elrington are partners in the Law Firm that bears their names.

Channel 5

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#378843 - 06/02/10 02:38 PM Re: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES CABINET CHANGES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
BELMOPAN, Belize, Wednesday June 2, 2010 – In response to rising crime across Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has announced a Cabinet reshuffle that includes the splitting of the Ministry of National Security into two.

The announcement came a day after Barrow’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, was shot as he was leaving their law firm in Belize City on Monday night.

The Cabinet changes see Carlos Perdomo, who was national security minister, picked for the new position of Minister of Defence. Senator Douglas Singh, who is Chairman of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, has been drafted to head the newly created Ministry of Police and Public Security.

“It has struck me, and in speaking with Minister Perdomo he confirmed, that that ministry (National Security), with all the portfolio subjects that come under it, is too large. It’s very difficult for any one person to handle,” Barrow told a press conference as he revealed the changes.

He expressed confidence in Singh’s ability to carry out his new functions.

“The new minister is perfectly aware of the magnitude of the task that he faces. I am convinced that he has the wherewithal both in terms of ability and in terms of dedication to give us the drive that we need to make this thing work,” Barrow said.

Among the other changes are the appointment of Senior Counsel Bernard Pitts as the country’s new Attorney General, replacing Wilfred Elrington who will be free to concentrate on his other responsibilities – Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“The crafting of new rules and regulations for the Police Department in the context of reform of the department and the need to strengthen internal discipline and accountability, the need for some degree of freedom consistent with due process to be able to root out rogue elements within the Belize Police Department – all these things will require a kind of legal backstop that also necessitates, in my view, the appointment of an Attorney General who can concentrate on just that,” Barrow explained.

The Prime Minister also announced that he would be giving Minister of the Public Service John Saldivar the additional responsibility of Sports and taking the Ministry of Youth portfolio from Elvin Penner and adding it to the responsibilities of Education Minister Patrick Faber. Penner retains the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and also gets responsibility for Public Utilities which previously belonged to Minister of National Emergency Management, Melvin Hulse.

Meantime, police have detained two men in Barrow’s law partner’s shooting. According to reports, Williams was walking to his vehicle, accompanied by a security guard, when two men approached them on bicycle and shot the 53-year-old lawyer in the abdomen.

Williams was yesterday flown to the Jacksonville Memorial Hospital in Florida for further medical treatment. He is said to be in critical condition.

“It is my hope that they can quickly get to the bottom of what is, on the face of it, so brazen and brutal and vicious,” Prime Minister Barrow said yesterday. “I hope that very soon the police will be able to tell us not only who did it but why this absolutely cowardly assault was perpetrated against him.”

The Barrow and Williams law office had been shot at less than two months ago, on April 15th. Police have not indicated whether the two men in custody are also suspected of being involved in that incident.

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#379123 - 06/04/10 02:25 PM Re: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES CABINET CHANGES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

New Ministers Sworn In....

Two new ministers of government were sworn in today at the Belize house in Belmopan. First was the new Attorney General BQ Pitts - who becomes the first AG who is neither an elected representative nor a member of the senate - thanks to a provision in the recently passed seventh amendment to the constitution which makes a provision for an AG who is not a member of either house.

The new minister of Police And Public Safety Douglas Singh was also sworn in this morning. Singh is also the leader of government business in the senate. Both men now become members of what may be the largest cabinet ever, its ranked swelled now to twenty.

Channel 7


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#379141 - 06/04/10 03:31 PM Re: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES CABINET CHANGES [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Wow what a shake up.
I like BQ , I'm a fan. Just from the smile alone you can tell he's a no BS guy.
Should be interesting.
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