Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis yesterday defended his decision on the size of his 22-member Cabinet, saying it is necessary given the issues The Bahamas is facing.
The remainder of Davis’ Cabinet, which includes six ministers of state, was sworn in yesterday.
Thirty-two Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidates were elected last week.
Prime Minister Davis has selected 19 of them to be in his Cabinet, in addition to two ministers who will serve in the Senate – Attorney General Ryan Pinder and Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis.
Asked to respond to criticisms that he appointed a “gussie mae” Cabinet, Davis said he needs all hands on deck.
“I don’t get into those types of talks,” he said.
“I know everyone is trying to distract from our job at hand. The enormity of the task at hand is what caused me to select the number of persons I have.
“I have additional parliamentary secretaries to be sworn in tomorrow. It is reflective of the enormity of the challenges I have and all hands are needed on deck.”
By comparison, when he came to office in 2017, Dr. Hubert Minnis had a 19-member Cabinet, including himself. The Cabinet also included three ministers of state.
Minnis later appointed a minister of state for disaster preparedness, management and reconstruction.
Davis has not appointed a minister with this specific portfolio.
Asked about the matter yesterday, he said the role will be partially filled by the minister of state for the environment.
“That’s why I appointed Basil McIntosh in the Ministry of the Environment with his background in structural engineering and civil engineering and understanding the built resilience that we require going forth; he is in there.
“The elements of that ministry [are] going to be falling under the Office of the Prime Minister.”
The ministry was also to be responsible for preparation for future disasters.