PM: Marin Has Forged Relations Abroad; Elrington Dubbed 1st Class Foreign Minister

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Updated: November 9, 2015

Two of the UDPs re-elected were Pablo Marin and Wilfred Elrington. Both Marin and Elrington had remained under sustained criticisms especially during the latter portion of their last term. When Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced his Cabinet it was noted that Pablo Marin was once again assigned the portfolio of Health.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained his position.

DEAN BARROW

Some of the things that don’t make the headlines that he did very well include the kind of outreach over which he has been able to preside, particularly, with respect to Latin America. The number of relationships he’s forged with Mexico and several other Latin American countries; his accomplishments including the new unit in Corozal where the first surgery was performed, are such that I always felt that, not that he was being given a bum wrap but that health being such a key front line area, the undoubted challenges that are there, occupied centre stage. I do not deny or dispute for a minute that there are difficulties and problems but they are not problems of his creation, they are problems inherent in a system that for a while now has been broken that I think we’re in the process of fixing but that we will never be able to fix to my satisfaction, to the public’s satisfaction, any time soon. It must remain a work in progress; we’ve got to commit more resources to it, we’ve got to do the very best we can in this all important area.”

For his part Elrington was slammed for several of the comments he made in the media.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow said while Elrington has come under attack in various sectors, he has been an exemplary Foreign Affairs Minister.

DEAN BARROW

The dilemma is this, Sedi is a truth teller; he is a plain speaker. I think that’s one of the reasons he is so admired and respected abroad. He is also clearly a successful politician.  In his constituency he was able for the second time to withstand the onslaught of the Smith brothers but he perhaps makes too much a separation between politics as politics and the business of his remit at the Foreign Ministry so that, there are times when Sedi puts things in a way that’s not calculated to win him any points from certain sections of the public, I don’t ‘say the media; I’m not going to get into a quarrel with the media because I don’t think it is just the media. I concede that there are sections of the public that do have this sense of disquiet. I’ve asked Sedi and I think I’m supported in this by the Cabinet to, not to be like a certain famous or notorious figure locally, who said that “leaders have to lie”; I don’t know if you recall who that rogue is …. but I’ve asked him to bear in mind whenever he’s making his public pronouncements, the fact that if we can avoid controversy we ought to, but I cannot go beyond that because I insist and this is a conviction indeed a knowledge that I will take to my grave, in substance he is an excellent first class Foreign Minister.”

While Elrington remains as Foreign Minister, the portfolio of Attorney General is now held by newcomer, attorney Vanessa Retreage.