Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Monday named the Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Fiztgerald Hinds as the new Public Utilities Minister, replacing Robert Le Hunte, who had submitted his resignation over the last weekend.
In addition, Rowley, who named radio personality, Jason Williams, who is expected to contest the upcoming general elections on a ticket of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) as a Senator, also replacing Le Hunte in that legislative chamber.
A statement posted on the Office of the Prime Minister’s Website, noted that he had advised President Paula-Mae Weekes to revoke the appointment of Le Hunte as a legislator and government minister, after accepting his resignation.
While the original statement issued on Sunday gave no indication as to why Le Hunte, who had given up his Ghanaian citizenship to accept a ministerial post almost three years ago, he did indicate that his resignation was due to a “professional conflict on policy positions.
“In these circumstances, I gave our Prime Minister, the opportunity to proceed in a manner which allows the government to achieve its objectives”.
The Trinidad Express newspaper reported Monday that a clash over the spending of TT$1.5 billion (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) for a water metering project was at the center of the conflict that erupted during last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.
Williams, 41, who in 2010, won the Road March title as part of a Soca duo, will contest the marginal Barataria/San Juan seat now held by former health minister Dr. Fuad Khan on behalf of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).
Meanwhile, Brian Manning, he son of the late former prime minister, Patrick Manning, will contest the San Fernando East seat that his father had held from 1971 until 2015 when he was replaced by Randall Mitchell, the current Minister of Tourism.
“I am humbled and inspired by the decision of the screening committee of the People’s National Movement in selecting me as the next candidate to represent the party in the constituency of San Fernando East,” Manning wrote on his Facebook page, acknowledging also the service provided by Mitchell to the constituency.
General elections are constitutionally due later this year and Prime Minister Rowley has aready indicated that it will be held when it is due regardless of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.