Outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Douglas Slater, will become Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM responsible for human and social development.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement in Parliament Thursday afternoon as he bid farewell to three senators who are demitting office.
Slater, medical doctor, as well as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Elvis Charles, and David Browne, are also leaving the senate.
Gonsalves said that Charles will become Chief Executive Officer of the Housing and Land Development Corporation.
That post has been vacant since the former CEO, Morris Slater, died earlier this year.
However, Gonsalves said that since Morris Slater, unlike Charles, was a trained engineer, Charles’ compensation package would not be at the same level as Slater’s.
Sen. Browne will pursue university education, the Prime Minister said.
Gonsalves said that the new senators will be announced this month.
A well-placed source, close to the ULP, has told I-Witness News that the Prime Minister’s son, this country’s outgoing Ambassador to the United Nations, Camillo Gonsalves, will be made a senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The source also said that Luke Browne, who lost to Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, will also be made a senator.
The source was however unsure who would replace Charles.
However, the removal of Charles from Parliament could pave the way for businessman Beresford Phillips to enter the fray.
In the lead up to the 2010 general elections, Phillips publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the outcome of the candidate selection process in Central Kingstown, when Charles, a former teacher, emerged as the Unity Labour Party’s candidate for that constituency.
Charles lost to the opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) St. Clair Leacock — 2,445 votes to 2,063.
Charles and Browne are leaving Parliament after a brief two and a half years, having been appointed senators after the December 2010 general elections.
Browne was the ULP’s South Leeward candidate in the 2010 general elections.
He lost, 2,396 votes to 2,595 to the NDP’s Nigel Stephenson.
Slater, a former South Leeward representative, was an parliamentarian for 15 years.
He became a senator in 1998, after he narrowly lost the seat 2,104 votes to 2,117 to the incumbent Jeremiah Scoot.
He won the seat in 2001 and was appointed Minister of Health and retained the seat and the portfolio again in 2005.
Slater did not contest the 2010 elections.