A press release from the Patriots is suggesting that the Prime Minister stand at arm’s length and move swiftly to name a new Minister of Education.
The organization said this was its considered position because of the historical relationship between both men during their time together at the Ministry between 2007 and 2011.
The Patriots have made the call for the immediate replacement of Senator Reid for a number of reasons, including:
1. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the Prime Minister, himself, are already burdened with too many important ministries, departments and agencies of the State;
2. The Ministry of Education is one of the largest ministries of government, which will more than triple the size of the portfolio currently under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister, both in terms of budget and human resources;
3. The close relationship between Mr. Ruel Reid and PM Holness could give the appearance of a shield for the former Minister as Mr Reid had served as an advisor to PM Holness when he served as Education Minister;
4. We agree with the PM’s reason for asking for the Minister’s resignation to “ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not in any way be impeded by his presence or oversight of the Ministry.”
"We have the same concerns with the PM’s presence and oversight of the Education Ministry. Some of the rumours regarding wrongdoings at the mentioned agencies have included the Prime Minister," the Patriots said.
"While we do not wish to further those suspicions or allegations, we believe the Prime Minister has a duty to protect the Office of Prime Minister. As such, he should remove any doubt about the independence of the investigations into the allegations," the PNP affiliate noted.
In light of the conflict demonstrated above, we believe the immediate removal of the Ministry of Education from the Office of the Prime Minister would indicate a commitment to transparency.
We also specifically call for an independent audit of the Ministry of Education, the Caribbean Maritime University, HEART Trust and the National Education Trust.
We are also calling for the naming of parliamentary committees so that the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee can begin probing these agencies.
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