Sunday 17 November, 2019

Marlene McDonald fired again

It may well be the record for the shortest Ministerial appointment ever held in Trinidad and Tobago.

Just two days after being appointed Public Utilities Minister, Marlene McDonald has been fired.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that Dr Keith Rowley advised President Anthony Carmona to revoke McDonald’s appointment with immediate effect.

The President has also been advised that the portfolio of Public Utilities should be assigned to the Prime Minister who will now assume these duties in addition to his other responsibilities.

McDonald was only sworn in on Friday, June 30, at President’s House in St Anns, but became the subject of controversy as she was  accompanied to her swearing-in cere­mony by Cedric “Burkie” Burke who was in 2011 arrested and charged under the anti-gang law.

It was later reported that Burke, a self-proclaimed community leader, was not invited to the event. He told media that he had just shown up to show support to the Port-of-Spain South MP.

However, speaking with media immediately after she was sworn in, McDonald said she had invited Burke as he represented the best that East, Port-of-Spain had to offer.

On Wednesday night a social media post by the Office of the Prime Minister revealed that there would be a cabinet reshuffle.

After a 16 month period of absence from the cabinet corruption-accused McDonald returned as a Minister despite being at the centre of a million dollar scandal and allegations that in 2008, she abused her ministerial power to facilitate a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) home for her partner and helped pay for it.

Former Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds was reassigned as Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs to assist the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs.

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