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From left: Senators David Browne, Elvis Charles, and Douglas Slater.
From left: Senators David Browne, Elvis Charles, and Douglas Slater.
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Three of the four government senators will make farewell speeches in Parliament later today (Thursday), as they prepare to demit office.

After weeks of speculations, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced shortly before midday that today’s meeting of the House of the Assembly is the last for Douglas Slater, Elvis Charles, and David Browne, in their capacity as senators.

“By the end of this month, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Senator Douglas Slater, is demitting office for a very important regional job.

“The Honourable Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Honourable Elvis Charles, will be demitting office and will be taking up another appointment.

“The Honourable Senator David Browne and Deputy Speaker is demitting office to further his university education, both by distance and face-to-face learning,” Gonsalves said.

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“I will, in time, before the end of this month, advise His Excellency, The Governor General, on the replacement for these three honourable gentlemen,” he further stated.

Gonsalves said that two of the new senators will receive “designation[s] in the executive of the State administration” and the third will be made Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, when the House resumes in early September.

The new senators will take the Oath of Allegiance in the Assembly Chambers in September.

“I want to thank all three Honourable Members for their excellent contribution to this Honourable House and for their tremendous service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said.

“Their service in other areas, I think that all reasonable persons would see as noteworthy and I wish them all the best for the future,” he further said, noting that his government is halfway through a third consecutive five-year term and is engaged in some refreshing.

Today’s announcement has further fuelled speculations that the Prime Minister’s son, outgoing ambassador to the United Nations, Camillo Gonsalves could be appointed a senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The younger Gonsalves is on vacation ahead of formally relinquishing the position after five years of critically acclaimed, distinguished service to the nation and the region.

There are also talks that Luke Browne, who lost to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace in 2010, could also be appointed a senator.

The nation is still undecided on its view of Browne after a letter he penned this year triggered a run on the 72-year-old Building & Loan Association, further jeopardising its future.

I-Witness News has reported in the past, citing well-placed sources, that Sen. Charles will be made manager of the Housing and Land Development Corporation. He has since confirmed this in an interview with a local newspaper.

We have also reported that Sen. Slater will be appointed second in command of a regional organisation.

We are comfortable now, after the Prime Minister’s announcement, in saying that our source says Slater will take up an important position at the CARICOM Secretariat.

Gonsalves said the changes to the senate are part of wider changes in the Government.

He said that the Cabinet Secretary, Susan Dougan, who reached retirement age over a year ago, has indicated that she has personal matters to which she would like to attend.

Gonsalves further said there is “a very distinguished public servant” that he hopes will be appointed to that position.

There will also be be a new director of the Community College, Gonsalves, said, and noted that there is a new acting Commissioner of Police.

“So there would be several changes which are taking place in the administrative arm of the government, in addition to the political administration,” he said.

The other government senator, Minister of Works, Julian Francis, who was appointed since Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) came to office in 2001, retains his position.

Francis, one of Gonsalves’ cousins, is also General Secretary and Campaign Manager of the ULP.

Update: Sen. Slater told I-Witness News Thursday afternoon that he “would not be ‘second’ in command of the institution where I will soon take up a post”. He, however, said he was “not at the moment” in a position to say what the position would be.

6 replies on “Gov’t to appoint three new senators by the end of August”

  1. There is a certain level of vagueness and I suspect its deliberate on the part of the PM, in the announcement of these Senator’s new endeavors.

    What high level regional job is Dr Slater taking up? Is it at the Sub-Regional Drug Procurement Service?

    Mr Browne is furthering his studies….”by distance and face to face”…WTF…really? Which University? Ms Muggy?

    Mr Charles, “taking up another appointment”…well damn, I guess anywhere from Gonsalves will suffice?

    Good riddance to these poor souls…Dr Slater is a cool chap, good doc…but went over to the dark side and things went ole mass for the Doc, politically. The other two were simply minions, punching above their weight.

    I for one would like to see Camillo get into the political arena in Vincyland…I like the idea of young blood getting involve in politics; hopefully bringing fresh ideas and vision to the people. I do not subscribe to the view that Camillo will simply fall inline in what the ULP or his father is doing. I will give Camillo the benefit of the doubt, until…

    Isn’t it time for the NDP to make some changes of their own…Ms Frederick do not have a foreseeable political future nor do Linton Lewis…so why are these folks allowed to take up valuable space…why not give Mr Baptiste and Mr Ferdinand these positions, since they will be contesting the next elections…and with both having an excellent chance of winning their seats…Linton is DOA…folks simply don’t like Linton for whatever reason. And Ms Frederick, regardless the outcome of her legal issues…has become too much of a political liability to be put back in the arena. I actually like Ms Frederick as a political candidate(and otherwise), she got all the mannerism and intellect to make a fine politician…but one thing she lacks, maturity. Until Ms Frederick develop a certain level of maturity, she going nowhere politically.

    Awright…went off on a…Keep hope alive? Oh a question…why didn’t Cummings set up his chair before the start of Parliament? I am just curious about this chairgate that has been going for sometime now…why all the drama? The NDP knows the Speaker is a mental midget, why get into any needless tussle with this fool…given all what has taken place in the Parliament with the NDP members, why did they believe that this Speaker would have the common decency to stop the proceedings to allow Cummings to go and get his special chair..really? So I am at a loss as to why this chair wasn’t set up before the start of Parliament…its not like, this was a hastily called Parliament, everyone knew before hand, the date of the next session of Parliament.

    So let me ask again…Why didn’t Cummings set up his chair before the start of Parliament today? Any thoughts? Anyone?… Peter?

    1. He claimed he got there late……..hence the ChairGate show down.

      Parliament was entertaining as always. The Speaker was on full display for our amusement of national disgrace. The high note was saying he must have been sleeping to have allowed a question that long about the airport. Shame Shame Shame.

  2. @ Mike….I heard the “getting there late” story, not buying it…sometimes you have to just call a spade a spade…Mr Cummings deserves a bulwood for this carrying on about a chair…let it go bro let it go…how long you want to be bit@hin about this chair…I just don’t get it…

    Parliament is like that reality show, where you get a bunch of WASHED UP CELEBRITIES in a house, trying their best to create drama and mayhem out of the smallest of issues. The Speaker is a FLAVOR FAVE character, with a ULP clock around his neck…screaming at Cummings…YEAHHHH BOOOOY!!!!…and REDMAN in the corner bawling LETS GET DIRTY!…at the same time,we have MC AE, singing, we need a KINDER AND GENTLER SOCIETY…only to be overshadowed by MAJORPAYNE , stating he is going to CUT SOME ONE’S THROAT, (POLITICALLY i.e). And it would appear there are some folks who simply can’t get enough this s#!t…it’s like crack cocaine…its bad, but you keeping going back for more.

    WE CAN DO BETTER, WE MUST DO BETTER. Both parties need to get their act together and stop with this bassa bassa mentality every time there is a session of Parliament.


  4. TEACHERFANG, I must say I agree with most of what you say on this occasion with the definite exception of the Gonslaves boy.

    Forget about all the chair crap and all that other stuff. The important matter in hand is Camillo.

    This young man was born an American, he was carving out a living and a future in the US. I do not believe for one moment that he just turned up working in our government by chance. He must of been encouraged by Ralph, he must of been invited, I believe he must have got promises, those promises that fathers make to sons, “come and work for me son because one day the business will be yours”. Otherwise why would he give up his US future which he was on a straight path with, practicing law and editing a magazine. I will give you all a glimpse of one of the online mags one day, but you will have to wait for the appropriate time.

    There are hundreds of African leaders who have introduced their sons and trained them to take over. I will shortly be submitting an article for Kenton to consider posting.

    We must consider when Camillo first took the legal job in our government was it offered out to anyone else, were there others who could of done that job. Did anyone else have the opportunity to apply for the job? was it advertised?

    Then consider when Camillo took the job as UN ambassador was it offered out to anyone else? were there others who could of done that job? did anyone else have the opportunity to apply for the job? was it advertised?

    It doesn’t matter how nice Camillo may be, it doesn’t matter how competent Camillo may be, it doesn’t matter if he is qualified. What matters is that he doesn’t have an opportunity that is not open to others, an opportunity because he is the son of our prime minister. People believe rightly or wrongly that Nepotism is involved, what I know is that nepotism must not be accepted by the Vincentian people.

    Teacherfang, you say or intimated we should give him a chance because he may not be like his father, what exactly do you mean by that?

    I believe we should not give him any chance whatsoever that is not publicly open to others. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I believe that his father carting him about the world whilst he was visiting foreign states and their leader, was done with the purpose in mind of training him to take over the reins, he was giving him an advantage over all others.

    Teacherfang, there are young people born here, worked their arses off to get to the top of the pile, got themselves educated and well positioned. They deserve better than this, this young man with what I believe was the assistance of his father or and his supporters, in being placed at the top of the pile. Its just not fair.

    Camillo being a nice young man should recognise that and act accordingly. We are all watching and waiting to see the next move in this saga. If he is appointed as senator that may well be the evidence that we are watching for.

    I can assure you I never write or speak out of spite, malice or plain nastiness, I leave that to others. I am genuinely concerned about despotic and nepotistic behaviour in SVG.

  5. @Peter, which parent in this world, in a position of power, would not use their influence to further the cause of their kids? I know I will. So yes, nepotism is unfair to a degree but you are blaming Camillo for actions he has absolutely no control of. I have to give Camillo the benefit of the doubt until he shows that he is indeed no different from his father.

    While we will disagree on some issues, I respect your tenacity to keep talking and writing on issues that most affect the lives of Vincentians.

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