In his address following his swearing-in, Holness said he was "humbled and honoured" that the people of Jamaica have seen it fit to give him and his government another stint to serve.
Addressing the troubling coronavirus pandemic, Holness said the government will implement the "necessary measures to bring the present spike under control and keep you safe" while not unduly impacting livelihoods.
He said the fight against the virus would require the responsible behaviour of each individual.
"Jamaica does not have the reserve of resources to always be locking down our economy," he maintained, while insisting the government "cannot rely on fear, panic and stigma to get temporary compliance," but on a conscious effort by every Jamaica to follow the established protocols.
He said a strict compliance to this strategy would help to gradually bring the number of infections down and ease the strain on the healthcare system and noted that the pandemic while difficult, has provided an opportunity to reconfigure and modernise of economy and society.
Holness gave his administration’s commitment for an accountable government that would be tough on corruption, warning that available resources would be used for the intended purpose to better the country but should never be found "being used to create an unfair advantage for others."
He said his administration will move with alacrity to strengthen the anti-corruption framework, to include the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA, vowing to lead a government of the "highest in integrity, dignity and efficiency."
In the meantime, the four ministers took their oath of office about an hour after Prime Minister Andrew Holness himself was sworn-in. The four ministers sworn in are:
- Dr. Horace Chang - Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister of National Security
- Dr. Nigel Clarke - Minister of Finance and the Public Service
- Dr. Christopher Tufton - Minister of Health and Wellness
- Kamina Johnson Smith - Senator/ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Following their swearing in, Holness addressed the group, declaring that those appointed have been critical members of his team and will continue serve as such.
With regards to national security, Mr. Holness recalled that his previous administration had signed on to a national consensus on crime fighting. He said he would continue to honour that agreement and expects that the opposition will do the same.
He noted that the issue of crime fighting is "not going to be an easy task and I am well aware of it." However, he said with his "team that is competent, that has the drive and energy, that exercises good judgement and a team that understands their role and are great advocates for the mission of the government," change would be possible.
"Oftentimes the drive to get things done comes at a trade-off in government.... We can have no such trade-off in this government," Mr. Holness asserted.
He insisted that while his ministers strive to get things done, they must be good communicators, good advocates, but most importantly, must exercise good judgement.
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