In a statement this afternoon, PNP General Secretary, Julian Robinson, said it was the second time within a month that the Prime Minister had merely given new portfolios after he has determined that the Ministers are guilty of breaching policy at the level of the government and cabinet.
The Opposition said this was unacceptable and runs counter to Ministerial sanction in the face of wrongdoing, including corruption, nepotism and cronyism.
The PNP says it does not regard Ministerial portfolio changes as sanctions and as such these changes should not be considered punishment for wrongdoing. Reshuffles are in keeping with normal Prime Ministerial administrative powers and discretion.
“First it was Minister Vaz, who was involved in the Holywell protected lands issue, and now Minister J.C. Hutchinson, involved in a clear act of nepotism concerning the Holland lands.
He has been given new responsibilities, despite the Prime Minister acknowledging egregious breaches of policy, Mr Robinson said. In fact, you can’t put the mongoose to guard the chicken house!
The PNP General Secretary said the party wished to register its most forceful repudiation of this method of disciplining or sanctioning of Ministers who rightfully ought to be removed from the cabinet.
Consequently, the Opposition again calls on the Prime Minister to remove Minister Hutchinson from the cabinet for “clear breaches of established procedures”, which are set out in detail in the Prime Minister’s statement this afternoon. If the Prime Minister refuses to do so, it can only be assumed that under the principle of collective responsibility, the entire cabinet supports his action and intends to exist with this nauseating scourge of corruption over its head.
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