BELMOPAN, Mon. Nov. 16, 2020– Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño announced the members of his Cabinet on Friday, November 13, and on Monday, eighteen elected PUP representatives were sworn in and assigned their respective portfolios.
The ceremony was held at the Best Western Belize Plus Biltmore Plaza, where the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, presided over the swearing-in of each member.
Hon. Cordel Hyde has become the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, with the portfolio for Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining. The remaining Ministers are as follows:
• Minister Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai is responsible for Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise.
• Minister Hon. Rodwell Ferguson is responsible for Public Utilities and Logistics.
• Minister Hon. Julius Espat is responsible for Infrastructural Development and Housing.
• Minister Hon. Francis Fonseca is responsible for Education, Culture, Science and Technology.
• Minister Hon. Florencio Marin is responsible for National Defence and Border Security.
• Minister Hon. Oscar Requena is responsible for Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government.
• Minister Hon. Dolores Balderamos is responsible for Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
• Minister Hon. Kareem Musa is responsible for Home Affairs and New Growth Industries.
• Minister Hon. Orlando Habet is responsible for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.
• Minister Hon. Kevin Bernard is responsible for Youth, Sports & E-Governance.
• Minister Hon. Michel Chebat is responsible for Health and Wellness.
• Minister Hon. Anthony Mahler is responsible for Tourism and Diaspora Relations.
• Minister Hon. Andre Perez is responsible for The Blue Economy and Civil Aviation.
• Minister Hon. Henry Charles Usher is responsible for Public Service, and Constitutional and Political Reform.
• Minister Hon. Eamon Courtenay is responsible for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration.
In addition, Hon. Magali Marin Young, SC, was appointed Attorney General, and Ambassador Stuart Leslie has been appointed as Cabinet Secretary and retains his post as the Chief of Staff for the People’s United Party.
Six Ministers of State were also appointed by Hon. Briceño:
Hon. Mike Espat and Hon. Christopher Coye (Finance, Economic Development and Investment); Hon. Ramiro Ramirez (Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining); Hon. Louis Zabaneh (Education, Culture, Science and Technology); Hon. Oscar Mira (National Defence and Border Security); Hon. Gilroy Usher (Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs); and Hon. Ramon Cervantes (Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration).
Other members of the PUP’s team of 31 (the party won 26-5) who did not receive a portfolio include Hon. Marconi Leal, Hon. David Vega, Hon. Alex Balona, and Hon. Jorge Espat, who won in their respective divisions.
Paul Thompson, Oscar Arnold, Allan Pollard, Jr., Dr. Candice Pitts, and David Castillo were unable to secure their divisions.
On Friday, Hon. Patrick Faber was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition in the company of four of his five elected leaders from the United Democratic Party.
Notably, Hon. Denise “Sista B” Barrow, sister of former UDP Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was not present for the ceremony, which has sparked rumors that she may be considering stepping down from her position.
This has yet to be officially confirmed or denied. We have been unable to reach her for clarification as to why she was not present at the swearing-in.