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Nov 9, 2015

A New U.D.P. Cabinet is Sworn In

Following a decisive victory at the polls last week Wednesday, leader of the United Democratic Party Dean Barrow was sworn in as Prime Minister by the Governor General in a private ceremony on Thursday. It is his third consecutive term and likely will form the basis of his legacy. Over the weekend, the Prime Minister met with his inner circle and this morning he called a press conference to brief the nation on his picks for the Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet in Belmopan this Tuesday having been sworn in. The Prime Minister also disclosed the composition of the Senate and high-level political posts. The biggest surprise was the change at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Mike Rudon was at the Belize Biltmore Plaza and has the story of who’s in and who’s out.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today, the nation was introduced to the ministers and ministers of state of the government of Belize…most granted a seat on the stage and a Cabinet appointment by virtue of a win at the polls. In the wake of elections Prime Minister Barrow had committed to positions for the holders of all nineteen U.D.P. seats, and he made it formal this morning.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I will be Minister of Finance, Minister of the Public Service, Minister of Energy and Minister of Public Utilities. My Minister of State will be the honourable Frank ‘Papa’ Mena. The honourable Erwin Contreras now becomes the Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce. The honourable Tracy Taegar-Panton is the Minister of State in that Ministry. The honourable Patrick Faber is the Minister of Education including Science and Technology Education, Culture, Youth and Sports. The Minister of State in that Ministry is the honourable Elodio Aragon Junior. The honourable Rene Montero is the Minister of Works, Transport and NEMO with the honourable Edmond Castro as the Minister of State in that Ministry.”


Ministers of State Mena, Taegar-Panton, Aragon and Castro will all hold full ministerial sway – at least in day to day operations – over sections of the full portfolio. Then there were the untouchables, so to speak – all veterans in the U.D.P.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The honourable Michael Finnegan is the standalone Minister of Housing and Urban Development. The honourable Manuel Heredia is the standalone Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The honourable Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez is the standalone Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. The honourable John Saldivar is the standalone Minister of National Security. The honourable Wilfred Elrington is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The honourable Pablo Marin is the Minister of Health. Dr. Angel Campos is the Minister of State. The honourable Hugo Patt is the full standalone Minister of Local Government, Labour and Rural Development.”


The biggest surprise of the day had to come with the announcement of the re-appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, who was stripped of that infamous ‘hotbed of corruption,’ the Ministry of Natural Resources.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The honourable Gaspar Vega is being reappointed as the Deputy Prime Minister of this country, and in addition he will be Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development. Doctor the honourable Omar Figueroa will be his Minister of State.”


The man who takes on the hotbed is certainly no stranger to corruption – Senator Godwin Hulse will now control two of the most controversial and powerful ministries.


Godwin Hulse

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The honourable Senator Godwin Hulse is Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration with the honourable Beverly Castillo being the Minister of State with responsibility, complete day to day responsibility for the Ministry of Immigration.”


And to round it off…a historical first – a female Attorney-General of Belize.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We are very pleased to bring in somebody from the private Bar as Attorney-General and in fact in effect Minister of Legal Affairs and that is attorney-at-law Ms. Vanessa Retreage.”


The new U.D.P. Cabinet features twelve full Ministers by virtue of seats held and one full Minister by virtue of senatorial appointment. There are seven Ministers of State who attend Cabinet on an invitation only basis. Mike Rudon for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “A New U.D.P. Cabinet is Sworn In”

  1. concerned says:

    Congratulations to Ms. Vanessa Retreage! Finally something in the news to feel good about.

  2. Be True to u self says:

    Ms. Vanessa Retreage work hard for the poor people and don’t get corrupted like the former ones when you settled in.

  3. Belizean@ heart says:

    hope mrs vanessa is not just another puppet used by the puppet master dean barrow we all saw what he turned godwin hulse into….hmmmmmmm godwin hulse we taught would be str8 and transparent and accountable but he is another foooooooollllll punk,and just di wag his tail when he is todl to do so by his puppet master dean barrow….nothing changes sames clowns-and some new added….same bullshit!

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