The Davis administration’s Cabinet was finalized yesterday after 11 Cabinet ministers, including four women, were sworn in.
West End and Bimini member of Parliament-elect Obie Wilchcombe was sworn in as minister of social services and urban development and leader of government business in the House of Assembly.
Carmichael MP-elect Keith Bell was sworn in as minister of labor and immigration.
Golden Isles MP-elect Vaughn Miller was sworn in as minister of environment and natural resources.
Elizabeth MP-elect JoBeth Coleby-Davis was sworn in as minister of transport and housing.
Pineridge MP-elect Ginger Moxey was sworn in as minister for Grand Bahama.
Garden Hills MP-elect Mario Bowleg was sworn in as minister of youth, sports, and culture.
MICAL MP-elect Basil McIntosh was sworn in as minister of state for the environment.
Pinewood MP-elect Myles Laroda was sworn in as minister of state in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Golden Gates MP-elect Pia Glover-Rolle was sworn in as minister of state for the public service.
Marathon MP-elect Lisa Rahming was sworn in as minister of state in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development.
Yamacraw MP-elect Zane Lightbourne was sworn in minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training.
The swearing-in ceremony, which took place at Baha Mar, came two days after nine Cabinet ministers were sworn in.
Of the 32 Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidates elected to Parliament last week, 20 were appointed to Cabinet.
Two senators were also appointed to Cabinet – Ryan Pinder as attorney general and Michael Halkitis as minister of economic affairs – bringing the total number of ministers to 22.
“Because government is organized by ministerial portfolio, it is easy to forget the jobs that we do are intertwined,” Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.
“The many arms of government must work together. And I am keen that we make every effort to be as efficient and as effective as possible in doing so. We must cut across the silos of the structure, and keep our shared goals and priorities clearly in sight.
“Our team of experienced and new parliamentarians has already begun to demonstrate the kind of teamwork that is required. While each title and role carries specific responsibilities, we understand fully that it is by working together that we can achieve the best results.
“And the partnership in government must also be strong and secure, mindful and compassionate. And by working with the Bahamian people, together we will build a lasting legacy for our children, and all those who come behind.”
The Davis administration ascends to power as The Bahamas grapples with its worst wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggles with a fragile economic situation triggered by the pandemic and Hurricane Dorian.
The twin crises resulted in historic unemployment across The Bahamas. Some projected that at the peak of the pandemic, the national unemployment rate exceeded 40 percent.
“During the past four and half years, the Bahamian people have said again and again, that the number one issue for them has been jobs,” Davis said.
“Far too many have, through no fault of their own, been out of work. And far too many of those who are in work, have not been treated with the respect that they rightly deserve. Labor relations are at an all-time low.
“In all things related to jobs, employment and labor relations, we will put Bahamians first.”
Davis said all hands are needed on deck to address “the many pressing challenges” The Bahamas is facing.
He said he is proud that “some of the best of those hands” are part of the PLP’s parliamentary team.