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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
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By Kenton X. Chance  

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will, as of midnight tonight, Thursday, have a new Minister of Finance.

After holding the post since coming to office in March 2001, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has relinquished the finance ministry to his son, Camillo Gonsalves.

The 71-year-old leader will remain Minister of National Security, Air and Sea Port Development, Immigration and Legal Affairs.

The younger Gonsalves, who is 45 years old, will take on the Finance Ministry, in addition to his current portfolios of Economic Planning and Sustainable Development.

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He will, however, shed ministerial responsibly for Industry, Information, Labour, Postal Service and the Bureau of Standards.

The major cabinet reshuffle, which comes less than two years after Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) was returned to office for a fourth consecutive term could be an indication of the direction in which the prime minister would like his party to go as he prepares to transition to a new leader, and the country to a new prime minister.

With Camillo as Minister of Finance, he could present his first Budget as early as December or January.

The young Gonsalves, as well as Saboto Caesar, are seen as the two front-runners expected to become the next leader of the ULP.

However, all indications are that the prime minister is positioning the pieces to ensure that his son, a journalist, lawyer, and former diplomat, succeeds him.

A clear indication of this might be the fact that Caesar will take up three of the portfolios that Camillo was relieved of, namely Industry, Labour and the Bureau of Standards.

These are in addition to his current portfolios of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation.

Saboto Caesar
Saboto Caesar has been assigned some of Camillo’s old ministries. (iWN file photo)

The Cabinet reshuffle comes in a week when the prime minister had been kept away from work and missed Parliament reportedly as he recuperated from injuries he suffered when he was thrown about in his official vehicle as it swerved to avoid another vehicle last week.

St. Clair Jimmy Prince will take up ministerial responsibilities for Information, an extension of his former role as director of the Agency for Public Information.

As Minister of Information, Prince will also be responsible for the National Broadcasting Corporation, another state-owned media outlet.

The new assignment is in addition to his current portfolios of Education, Reconciliation, and Ecclesiastical Affairs.

Responsibility for the Postal Service will go to Sen. Julian Francis, who is Minister of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government.

15 replies on “Camillo becomes Minister of Finance in major cabinet reshuffle”

  1. Saboto Caesar in my opinion, holds the most important positions that depends of the prosperity of SVG: Industry, Labour, Bureau of Standards, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Rual and Transformation. If our focus is on self-sufferance; then Saboto is really the FATHER responsible to our bread basket of SVG. The other positions are administration. The burden is really on the MAN ; Saboto, our next PM, the people’s choice.

  2. Lisberth George says:

    Comrade Saboto Caesar has truly earned his stripes as an honest, humble and hardworking Vincentian and Honourable Minister. We all as Vincentians should be proud of his work ethic and commitment to the development of our country. Caesar, you are poised for greatness. I do hope that we will see the day that you serve as Honourable Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Continue to inspire our people. You have worked hard; keep up the good work.

    1. Agriculture has not take off during the Ulp administration and the facts would indicate that the agriculture as contribution the the gnp has experienced negative growth in comparison to the pre Ulp administration. This is certainly one area in which they fail, I would give the grade D. The minister of agriculture has to take some of the blame for failure to lead from the front.

  3. The manoeuvre was not to avoid any accident but to remove his incompetent son from his failed ministry […]. … Soon SVG and the world will know who saved the American airline industry. The recycled communist, wannabe dictator has pulled off the perfect […] landing. His Policies of Shake-down Taiwan has run out of steam, and the ULP has run out of other people’s ideas. I recommend that SVG find Lennox Bowman’s presentation to the NIS. and listen to it.

  4. Goodluck to everyone of you but have the country took off economically. Hell no. The place is so tough, you walk around the country and you can see it on the citizens face, who not drinking strong rum begging for money. There is so many people with missing tooth here. Please Mr. Prime Minister call a fresh mandate and liberate our country. If the citizens don’t support or endorsed your party they suffered. We are all Vincentians without Western Union and Money Gram families suffer.

  5. In a way I feel sorry for Camilo. I have nothing against him but it is unfortunate that he has had everything given to him by his daddy and has never really earned anything. Sabota certainly has a better personality and has the best ideas of any minister in the ULP but it seems he has never been given the opportunity to implement changes. In truth the ULP has lost much support over the past elections due to our Prime Ministers very poor economic policy. Not to mention that we do not yet know who really won the last election because the ULP seems to be doing everything possible to keep the petitions from going to court. Appointing his son and telling him how everything is to be done will not change anything. Sabota certainly can be a bridge that will bring some NDP supporters to the ULP but instead “inherited rule” seems to be the intention. This move is intended for ULP big-Whigs and supporters to think that by the next election that Camilo is anyway practically in charge so we may as well vote for him anyway.

  6. Were there other candidates involved in the last election? The emphasis seems to be on 3 members moving to different chairs on the Titanic. It looks like the others are history!
    It now appears that SVG is in for another coronation.

  7. Saboto and Camillo already agreed and settled on Prime minister and deputy, what is all the talk about. It should a happened long time.

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