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Jun 12, 2018

Cabinet Reshuffles: Hugo Supplants Carla at Lands

Dr. Carla Barnett & Hugo Patt

For the fourth time in less than two years, the all-powerful Ministry of Natural Resources has a new leader. At the start of today’s Cabinet meeting in Belmopan, Prime Minister Dean Barrow broke the news that Corozal North area representative, Hugo Patt, was moving up as the new minister of Natural Resources. A press release confirming same was issued before midday. The release states that Doctor Carla Barnett asked to be reassigned. We are told that the announcement came as a jolt to cabinet members. Patt moves up from his current portfolio of Labour, Local Government Rural Development, Energy, Public Utilities, Public Service, and Elections and Boundaries. It is another indication of favor with the ruling leadership ahead of a rumored run against Patrick Faber and John Saldivar for U.D.P. leader next year, though he has stated that any decision he makes to run would be after consultation with his family and constituents. The Prime Minister assumes Patt’s portfolio, with Barnett holding the Labour, Local Government and Rural Development portfolio as minister of state, while Frank Mena continues in charge of the remaining portfolios of Public Utilities, Energy, Public Service, and Elections and Boundaries. There is no indication if Barnett also continues as minister of state for finance. Since former minister Gaspar Vega’s resignation in October of 2016, three full-time ministers – Godwin Hulse, Vanessa Retreage and the Prime Minister himself – have held the portfolio; Barnett was minister of state during the P.M.’s tenure. In the wake of the wave of scandals surrounding Vega and his family and their seemingly insatiable appetite for land grabbing across the country, the Lands ministry has undergone a series of reforms to clean up the reputation. The new assignments take effect on Monday, June twenty-fifth, 2018. All other current Cabinet portfolio allocations remain the same.

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