Political analysts Ferdie Ferreira and Mariano Browne have both taken a “wait and see” approach to the appointment of Donna Cox as Communications Minister.
Cox, a former Laventille East Member of Parliament, was sworn in Monday morning after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley revoked the appointment of Stuart Young from the ministry on Sunday night.
However, while Ferreira said he believes Cox was more than capable of handling her new position, Browne was more critical, saying he does not believe she was qualified for the post.
Ferreira declined to say what he made of her appointment as he said it was the right of the Prime Minister to appoint Cabinet members as he sees fit.
He said Cox has been given another opportunity to provide service to the country and it will only be when she has had time to function in the position will anyone be able to judge her suitability for the post.
“I always give people the benefit of the doubt, she is an experienced politician and I think she was a party officer as well. I prefer not to get into the “whys” of that appointment,” Ferreira said.
He said the resurrection of Cox was just another characteristic of the local political life.
“This is one of the unfortunate parts of the political life in Trinidad: our limited memories. We have seen too many of these people that go out and come back in, ostracised then put on pedestals, its part of the political landscape.”
Ferreira said he was not at all surprised by Rowley’s move to revoke Young’s appointment to the ministry though as he said it was clear that Young was overburdened.
He said it was unfortunate that Rowley took so long to realise that Young could not cope with his multiple portfolios.
Referencing the Prime Minister’s description in late-June that Young was his “Garry Sobers”, Ferreira said, “I think what he has done is before Garfield Sobers get run out was put him a little lower done on the order. It is better to come out not-out than out. Nobody could escape the fact that the load was a little too heavy.”
Mariano Browne on the other hand said he does not believe that a new appointment to the Communications ministry will have any effect as no matter who holds the portfolio, will not change the reality of the government’s performance.
He said he does not think that Cox was qualified for the position.
“The question of whether she is up to the portfolio is left to see, by training she is not a communications expert, if there is anybody who is trained in communications or understands it, it would have been the minister who now works in Public Administration- Maxie Cuffie- but Cuffie has already been in that position and he was not considered to be outstanding.”
Browne said Cox’s return to the forefront of the PNM may also mean she was being considered to replace one of the current MPs for the Laventille East and Laventille West constituencies.
He questioned the fate of sacked Senator Foster Cummings, who had his position revoked to make room for Cox. Cummings is the general secretary of the PNM.
“You would notice that the general secretary of the PNM got his position in the senate got turned over to Cox, the question to be asked is what is going to happen to Foster Cummings? What is his future? I am sure he didn’t give his position just like that.”
Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad