Dr. Tewarie, who served as a Cabinet Minister in the 1980s and 1990s, has taken up the position of Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs.
Dr. Tewarie said he had accepted the position with “mixed feelings” since King was a good friend. However, he said while the decision was a hard one, he was happy that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had the confidence to ask him to fill the post.
“I am happy to be on board to contribute to Trinidad and Tobago and the People’s Partnership government,” he told reporters following his swearing-in as a senator and minister on Thursday, 12th May, 2011.
Dr. Tewarie said his first priority will be to “try to align the ministerial tasks to the manifesto and to see the extent of the connectivity of the Planning Ministry to other Ministries”.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, who attended the swearing-in ceremony, said she had to remove Dr. Tewarie’s predecessor from the Cabinet to protect the integrity of her government.
King, who was dismissed on Tuesday, 10th May, 2011, had not disclosed her financial and family interest in a software engineering company, Ixanos Ltd, which won a near TT$100,000 (US$15,748) government website development contract from her ministry last November. She is named as Corporate Secretary of both Ixanos Ltd. and its parent company Caelum Holdings Ltd. and also has joint controlling shareholding with husband Dr St Clair King in Caelum. King was allegedly present at the opening of the bids, and was involved in selecting the bid evaluation team which eventually picked Ixanos.
Her dismissal followed the Prime Minister’s receipt of a report by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan who found that the minister acted improperly in failing to disclose her interest and to disqualify herself from the entire process.
King’s successor served as a Cabinet Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister under the NAR government from 1986 to 1991. From 1990 to 1991, he also held the position as Minister of Industry, Enterprise and Tourism.
Dr. Tewarie was also the executive director of the UWI Institute of Business (now Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business) where planning and development were part of his portfolio; and a former chairman of the National Institute for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology where he facilitated the creation of the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts and the foundation work for the establishment of the Accreditation Agency of Trinidad and Tobago.
He has also published many articles on economic and educational development issues, and is author of two published books –VS Naipaul Revisited: Ethnicity, Marginality and the Triumph of Individual Will, and the other with Roger Hosein entitled Trade, Investment and Development: In the Contemporary Caribbean.
(Major portions of this article were incorporated from a Caribbean360 report)