KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, is to name the country's new Attorney-General this week.
Mr. Golding said that he has selected a candidate from the private bar, who has accepted the job offer. “I expect to be able to make an announcement later this week about the appointment and also about the effective date when that person will assume office,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, and Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Arthur Williams at King’s House.
The post of Attorney-General became vacant last Tuesday June 28, 2011 when the Prime Minister named a new Cabinet and informed that the position would be separated from that of Minister of Justice.
Responding to concerns about a delay in filling the position, the Prime Minister explained that the person to be appointed needs time to settle outstanding obligations.
“That person has to disengage from legal matters involving clients from which they will now have to completely disengage in order to take up the appointment,” he said.
“The person (to be appointed) has simply said: ‘I need a little time to make arrangements for the cases that I was dealing with to have other persons take over those cases. I need time to at least say to my clients, I’m not going to be able to complete your matters because I have taken on a new assignment’”, the Prime Minister added.
Ministers Chuck and Williams were unable to be sworn in along with their Cabinet colleagues on June 29, as they were away on Government business.
Those, who have already taken the oath of office, are: Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Industry, Investment and Commerce; Hon. Robert Montague, Agriculture and Fisheries; and Hon. Clive Mullings, Minister of Energy and Mining.
The new Ministers of State were: Hon. Gregory Mair for Education; Hon. Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett, National Security; and Hon. Othniel Lawrence, Transport and Works.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, will assume responsibility for Local Government, which was previously carried out by Minister Montague, in addition to her current duties.
Other changes include the transfer of responsibility for the public sector from the Ministry of Finance to the Cabinet Office, and the re-designation of the Ministry of Water and Housing as the Ministry of Housing, Environment and Water, headed by Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.
With the appointment to the Cabinet of Minister Chuck, the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives is expected to be filled by the Deputy Speaker, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter