St Vincent Prime Minister makes son new finance minister

From left Camillo Gonsalves and dad Prime-Minister Ralph Gonsalves

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and the Grenadines – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has handed over the important finance ministry to his son in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Camillo Gonsalves, 45, has taken over the responsibility held by his father since 2001.

It has been added to the portfolios he previously held – Economic Planning and Sustainable Development. But the other ministerial responsibilities for Industry, Information, Labour, Postal Service and the Bureau of Standards which he also held have been given to other Cabinet members.

Industry, Labour and Bureau of Standards have been added to Saboto Caesar’s existing post of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation.

“Outside of tourism, the economic levers, from a formal standpoint, are in the hands of Camillo and Saboto, of course, with the prime minister having oversight responsibilities,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said on a local radio station.

Minister of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government, Senator Julian Francis takes on the further responsibility for Postal Services, while Minister of Education, Reconciliation and Ecclesiastical Affairs, St Clair Prince, has the added responsibility for Information.

The 71-year-old Prime Minister Gonsalves will continue as Minister of National Security, Air and Sea Port Development, Immigration and Legal Affairs.

The younger Gonsalves is expected to present his first budget as Minister of Finance by mid-January 2018.

The Prime Minister defended the Cabinet reshuffle and said it was important for the new Minister of Finance to be in place before the budget presentation.

“The new minister needs some time to familiarize himself in detail,” he said.