Senator Keisal Peters, the first female minister of foreign affairs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, will be sworn in on Friday.
Peters, will replace Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves as the foreign secretary, two years after she took up the post of minister of state in that ministry.
Speaking on NBC Radio, on Wednesday, the prime minister said that Peters was on official duty in the Bahamas when he made the announcement last week.
“I didn’t want to have the instruments signed by the Governor General when she wasn’t here and then she wants a couple of family members, naturally, to be there,” he said.
He noted that Peters will become the country’s first female minister of foreign affairs.
“She is a young woman. Nobody as young as her would have been foreign minister,” Gonsalves said of Peters, a 36-year-old lawyer.
“By the way, you notice that this foolishness which they were talking about Keisal and the falsity about bleaching of skin, you notice once I talk I lock that down,” Gonsalves said.
“You notice that? After I talk on it, I lock it down. It’s just wutliss gutter things them fellas went through,” he said.
Last week, former speaker of the House of Assembly under Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party administration, Jomo Thomas, alleged that Peters was bleaching her skin and questioned how she would raise the issue of reparations at international fora.
Gonsalves said the allegation was “a sexist and classist thing”, adding that Peters “comes from the bowels of the working people, bright young woman”.
He said that her late father worked at the port and her mother, who migrated, takes care of elderly people overseas.
“And you must concede that is a beautiful, bright, hardworking, sassy, real black woman with good style and — eh? You know what I mean?
“And when she smile, she got — and like Rene before her, you know, she does dress up nice,” the prime minister said.
Rene Baptiste, a ULP politician who has retired from electoral politics, was MP for West Kingstown and minister of culture from 2001 to 2010.
“Anyway, God is good. God is good. And Keisal is doing well,” Gonsalves said of Peters, who has expressed an interest in representing the ULP in West Kingstown in the next general elections, constitutionally due in February 2026.