St Vincent's Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves promotes son Camillo to foreign affairs minister

Camillo and Ralph Gonsalves

According to a report by caribbean360, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves promoted his son, Camillo Gonsalves, formerly St. Vincent's ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday to the country’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister. Camillo will also serve as commerce and information technology minister.

With the new appointments there are now three Gonsalves’ relatives who are parliamentarians. Ralph Gonsalves’ first cousin, Julian Francis, also a senator, is the Minister of Works.

As foreign Affairs minister, the younger Gonsalves replaces former foreign affairs minister Dr. Douglas Slater, who is taking a new position with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, based in Guyana. 

Prime Minister Gonsalves named three new senators to his administration, one of which is his well known critic the political activist and commentator, Jomo Thomas.

Gonsalves asked Opposition legislator, Dr. Godwin Friday, to become the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. If Friday does not accept the nomination, Gonsalves will appoint Thomas, an attorney, the Deputy Speaker.

The Vincentian Prime Minister acknowledged his rivalry with Jomo Thomas:

“I think the appointment of Jomo might have surprised some because it is well known that Jomo has been a critic of mine,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said.

“He has criticised policies of the government, he has criticised me personally, though we have been together in Yulimo and the UPM. And I know that at election time in 2005 and 2010 he supported the Unity Labour Party because in political situations, you have to have choices,” said Gonsalves, adding he is not worried about criticisms."

And seem to place Thomas' appointment in the context of political parties and governments always having to refresh themselves, "... with personnel and ideas because if you do not adapt and change, you will become a dinosaur. …”