There is speculation in some quarters that the unnamed ‘female senator’ referred to by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during the official Swearing-in ceremony of his Cabinet is his daughter Isis Gonsalves.
The Prime Minister who was addressing supporters and well-wishers last week at Heritage Square told the gathering:
“I shall shortly advise Her Excellency the Governor General on the appointment of the fourth senator whom I intend to have assigned as a junior minister in my office with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.”
“There are a lot of meetings to be held overseas in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and many of them would not require my prime ministerial attendance, so I would have to get a junior minister to help me with that work with other things.”
Those in political circles say that while the young Gonsalves is eminently qualified, the ULP will hand the opposition NDP the ‘knife’ it needs to create the political maelstrom necessary to bring down the government.
The ULP administration which was returned for an unprecedented 5th term did so with the majority of seats but lost the popular vote for the first time since 1998.
Observers note that PM Gonsalves will also be seeking a replacement for himself in North Central Windward which his daughter may contest but supporters are wary of another backdoor opportunity for the Prime Minister’s daughter.
If selected, Isis will join her brother Camillo Gonsalves as a member of Cabinet and may be the first time that a father, son, and daughter sit in government in this part of the world.
According to her UN profile, Isis Gonsalves holds a Bachelor of law degree from the University of the West Indies and a Master of Laws (Corporate and Commercial Law) from the same institution. She was a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers before serving as an adviser at the Permanent Mission of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, focusing on the areas of climate change, oceans, the Budgetary and Administrative Committee and Security Council reform.
She is currently SVG’s Political Coordinator/Minister Counsellor at the UN.
A number of party supporters have privately told BreadFruit News that they will withdraw their support from the ULP if PM Gonsalves presses ahead with the appointment.
“The timing is wrong; I think the PM is misreading the electorate if he thinks Isis can be foisted on the nation. One only has to look at Camillo’s vote tally for that message. He said he has heard us, let’s hope so for his and the party’s sake.”
BreadFruit News understands that the final senator to be appointed is currently out of the country and was not appointed with fellow senators Julian Francis, Rochard Ballah and Ashelle Morgan for this reason.