(NassauGuardian)There are growing expectations that Prime Minister Philip Davis will announce a reshuffle of his Cabinet in the coming days.
This would coincide with the second anniversary of his party’s victory at the polls in September 2021, and would also be a part of the general reset that Davis is seeking to achieve as he reprioritizes his administration’s agenda.
Some of those close to the prime minister expect he will soon take the opportunity to make the changes.
It is unknown which ministers Davis might move but there is widespread expectation that given the multiple controversies that have ensnared Immigration Minister Keith Bell, he will no longer serve in that capacity.
Correspondence leaked into the public domain in recent weeks revealed a lack of confidence in the minister by senior members of the Department of Immigration.
Some observers who closely watch politics and governance matters also expect the prime minister to use the opportunity to appoint a new minister of works. The current minister, Alfred Sears, has faced significant challenges in that role, most particularly as the minister with responsibility for Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), which continues to struggle with providing affordable and consistent electricity supply.
The government and opposition continue to blame each other over BPL’s failings.
There have also been criticisms of the poor state of the roads on New Providence.
The Ministry of Works has pledged to aggressively fill potholes and repave other roads that have been neglected for years.
A reshuffle would not come as a surprise to many and would not necessarily signal that Davis has been displeased with certain ministers.
Though a reshuffle is the prime minister’s prerogative, when asked last week if one was imminent, Davis noted that this is a discussion taking place within Cabinet.
“We are just near … I call it my halfway point before we move into what I call election mode,” he said.
“We are talking together as ministers to determine how best each one of us may better serve the new way forward.”
After winning the election in September 2021, Davis appointed 22 Cabinet ministers and seven parliamentary secretaries and faced criticisms for having a “Gussie Mae” Cabinet.
The executive is the largest ever constituted in modern times in The Bahamas.
Davis said the appointments were all necessary “because we need all hands on deck” given what he had described as harsh times.
Any changes to his Cabinet would likely reflect shifting or renewed focus on various governance matters.
On August 12, Governor General Sir Cornelius A. Smith, acting on the prime minister’s advice, prorogued Parliament. The new session will begin on October 4.
The Office of the Prime Minister said the Davis administration will, in the new session, prioritize legislation and “policies which address the high cost of living, lift our people up, and strengthen our economic and national security”.
When Parliament was prorogued, Attorney General Ryan Pinder said Davis had further changes to announce.
The prime minister later announced that Sir Cornelius Smith will demit office and that Cynthia “Mother” Pratt will serve as the country’s next governor general effective September 1.
At 6:30 pm on Thursday, a ceremony will be held at Government House to mark Sir Cornelius demitting office.
Pratt as the new governor general will read the Speech from the Throne at the start of the new session, outlining the priorities of the Davis administration.
The reconfigured lineup of ministers is expected to happen long in advance of that.
Current executive largest ever constituted in modern times in The Bahamas