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Holness Issues Strong Warning To Cabinet Members

(Jamaica Observer) Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday laid down the ground rules for members of his Cabinet, warning that ministers who run afoul of the law while executing their duties will find themselves in hot water.

Holness, who himself was sworn in last evening following his party’s historic win at the polls last Thursday, earning him a second-consecutive term in office, was addressing the audience at King’s House in St Andrew, where four of his ministers were also sworn into office.

The group comprised Drs Horace Chang, Christopher Tufton and Nigel Clarke, who will retain the national security, health and wellness, and finance and the public service portfolios, respectively, and Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who will continue as minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.

The four were sworn in as a matter of priority, Holness said, as the country continues to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“They (ministers) must exercise good judgement. Oftentimes, the drive to get things done comes at a trade-off with judgement. We can have no such trade-off in this Administration, which is why we stress competence,” the prime minister said.

“The ministers must know their subject areas. They must know the legal environment in which they are operating. They must dedicate themselves to getting results; that is the drive. They must keep the public onboard. They must be good advocates and good communicators, but above all else, they must exercise good judgement,” he added.

The warning mirrors his 2016 message to then appointed Cabinet ministers, in which he insisted that he would apply a zero-tolerance approach to corruption among members of his Administration.

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