Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has appointed controversial Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald as Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications.
McDonald, the PNM’s deputy political leader, was already twice given a ministerial portfolio under the current administration and was fired on both occasions.
She was sacked as Minister of Housing and Urban Development on 17 March 2016 while the subject of an Integrity Commission investigation into her role in State payments to the Calabash Foundation, which is headed by her common-law husband, Michael Carew.
And, on Sunday 2 July 2017, McDonald was fired again after she turned up for her swearing-in ceremony as Minister of Public Utilities, just two days earlier, with alleged gangster Cedric Burke.
The following is the full release from the Office of the Prime Minister:
The Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, today advised the President, His Excellency Anthony Carmona to appoint the Honourable Ms. Marlene McDonald as a Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications, where she will assist the Prime Minister who continues to hold the portfolio which he assumed since the substantive minister, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, fell ill a few months ago.
In making the appointment the Prime Minister said “Ms McDonald can make a valuable contribution to the ministry and I am confident that she will meritoriously perform the duties required as a minister in the ministry.”
Ms McDonald, in accepting the appointment, pledged to dedicate herself to the business of the ministry and said that she was “committed and motivated to perform.”
She will be sworn in at 1:30 pm today, March 1st, at the Office of the President.
Ms McDonald was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Port-of-Spain South on 5 November 2007, at which time she was appointed Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs.
From 2010 to 2015 she served in Opposition as the Chief Whip.
Ms Marlene McDonald was re-elected to the House of Representatives of the 11th Parliament on September 7, 2015. Four days later she was appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Development, a position she held until March 17, 2016.
She was then appointed Minister of Public Utilities from June 30th 2017, a position she held until July 1st 2017. Ms McDonald is an experienced parliamentarian and her contribution to the ministry is welcomed.