Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that the Cabinet sworn into office on Monday “shall govern with good sense and balance”.
“We are one nation, one people, with one destiny, under one god,” he said as he acknowledged that the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has not accepted the results of the Dec. 9 general elections, which officials say his Unity Labour Party (ULP) won, securing eight seats to the NDP’s seven.
“No one will suffer from this government any discrimination on the grounds of political affiliation or beliefs, race, sex, religion, or other basis as detailed in our nation’s constitution,” Gonsalves said at a ceremony at Heritage Square to swear in the Cabinet of Ministers.
“That is my solemn vow to each and everyone who is reached by my words. And, as always, I apply in practise every day, the dictum that the greatest exercise of power is the restraint in the use of that power.”
Gonsalves said this practice is not a recipe for indecisiveness nor an invitation to disregard lawful authority.
“On the contrary, it reflects a deep, mature understanding of human nature and our democratic institutions, which leads to wise judgement, firm, yet sensitive actions.”
Gonsalves said that these are challenging times, “occasioned fundamentally by external shocks of the global economic meltdown, unfair and unjust trading regimes, and multiple natural disasters due to climate change”.
The revolution in information communication technology has complicated matters for governance in small states while providing immense opportunities for empowerment and wealth creation, he said.
“Internally, home-grown criminality by some has added burdens to our society and economy in the context of the limitation which arises from the condition of being a small island developing state. Still, our possibilities and strengths, especially our people’s creativity, resilience and capacity for disciplined work prompt optimism for our future,” the Prime Minister said.
The Cabinet shows a mixture of experience and newcomers, including women, with two relatives of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves again being given ministerial appointments.