Former Junior National Security Minister Takes Over Communications Ministry


Young Retains His Other Two Ministerial Portfolios

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinida – National Security Minister Stuart Young has pledged “continued commitment” to serve Trinidad and Tobago after Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced Sunday that he was replacing him as Communications Minister in a minor change.

Young was replaced by former junior national security minister, Donna Cox, who was sworn in later on Monday. Cox, served during the administration of former prime minister Patrick manning but was overlooked for the 2015 general election, which the People’s National Movement won after its defeat at the hands of the coalition People’s Partnership administration in 2010.

A brief message from the Office of the Prime Minister gave no reasons for the removal of Young as Communications Minister, except to say that Rowley had asked President Paula-Mae Weekes to revoke his appointment as well as that of Senator Foster Cummings in making way for Cox’s appointment.

Young retains his National Security portfolio as well as his portfolio as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister.

In a statement, Young, whom the opposition as dubbed “super minister” said that he wanted to thank Rowley, “for the opportunity to have served as the Minister of Communications in addition to my other ministerial portfolios”.

He said he welcomed Cox’s appointment “and pledge my continued commitment to serve the Country as the Minister of National Security and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister.

“I have always maintained that it is a privilege to serve and I certainly will continue to give of my best as a servant of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.

Cox believes that her background in communications makes her the right fit for the job.

At her swearing ceremony, she was asked whether she felt that Young was overwhelmed by the additional portfolio and could not give his full attention to Communications. According to a report, Cox acknowledged that the National Security Ministry is an enormous responsibility, especially given the current state of crime.

“National Security is not an easy Ministry. I have worked at the Ministry of National Security and what a lot of people do not realise how enormous that Ministry is. I was Minister of State and I handled part of the portfolio of the Ministry and it was heavy at that time… I know that it is indeed a heavy Ministry and even with what is happening in the country, focus must be placed on National Security,” she was quoted by LoopTT as saying.

Regarding the upcoming election, Cox could not shed any light on what role she would play.

Meanwhile, according to LoopTT. Cummings, who will be replaced by Cox in the Senate, and was also in attendance at the swearing-in congratulated his colleague on her new appointment.

He said his focus will now be on the upcoming Local Government and General elections, given his role as General Secretary of the People’s National Movement (PNM).

“The focus right now is on the two elections, and that is what we are doing,” he was quoted as saying.

“The role of general secretary requires a lot of effort and a lot of time. As we have these elections back to back, it puts some additional responsibility on the position of general secretary. That’s what my focus will be right now.”

Asked whether a role in the House of Representatives is in the cards, he said, “I don’t know that it happens that way. There’s a screening process. Let’s see what the future holds.”