Dr Karen Cummings is new Foreign Affairs Minister
Dr Karen Cummings, who has served for four years as Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, has been appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Cummings took the oath of office at the Ministry of the Presidency on Thursday morning before President David Granger.
Speaking with reporters after being sworn in, Dr. Cummings said she was surprised at the request to serve in her new portfolio but is prepared to take up the new challenge.
“I know there is a vacancy so I was wondering who is going to fit that post but I did not know it was going to be me,” she said.
“I Know it’s a lot of hard work but I am prepared for the task and I hope to serve the office with distinction.”
She was appointed to the post following the resignation of Carl Greenidge, who was forced to resign as a Member of Parliament and Minister when the Court of Appeal confirmed a High Court decision that persons with dual citizenship are constitutionally barred from being elected to the National Assembly.
President David Granger said Dr. Cummings is the fittest person to lead the Foreign Affairs sector.
“The deciding factor is that the country could not be without a foreign Minister and I felt in my considered judgment that she is the fittest person to hold that portfolio,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the event.
The Foreign Minister, newly appointed Minister of Business Haimraj Ramkumar, Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister of Public Service, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley were also sworn in on Thursday.
Minister Simona Broomes who was reassigned from the Ministry of Natural Resources to head Youth Affairs within the Ministry of the Presidency and Minister Annette Ferguson who was moved from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to head the housing sector also received their instruments of appointment.
Former Minister of Housing, Valerie Patterson –Yearwood was absent from the swearing-in ceremony. She was reassigned to head Rural Affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Asked whether new persons will be appointed to take up junior minister posts now left vacant at the Ministries of Health and Infrastructure, the President said this will be decided at Cabinet.
Editor’s note: This story was updated