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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KINGSTON758 2006-04-19 18:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

THE NEW PRIME MINISTER'S CABINET

Tags:   PGOV PINR JM 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKG #0758/01 1091819
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 191819Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2646
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 000758 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR (BENT)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2016
TAGS: PGOV PINR JM
SUBJECT: THE NEW PRIME MINISTER'S CABINET

REF: A. KINGSTON 645

B. KINGSTON 402

C. 05 KINGSTON 893

Classified By: Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas C. Tighe, f
or reason 1.5(b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary. This message provides biographic sketches on
members of new Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her
Cabinet, which she announced at midnight on March 31.
Apparently, in order to build party unity before the next
general elections believed to be forthcoming by Fall 2006,
the Prime Minister decided not to make significant changes to
the Cabinet. Consequently, her Cabinet largely mirrors that
of her predecessor, former Prime Minister PJ Patterson, with
the following changes: Dean Peart was formerly Minister of
Land and Environment and now he is Local Government and
Environment; the Land portfolio has been transferred to Roger
Clarke who retained his previous Agriculture portfolio;
Horace Dalley was previously the Minister of Labor and Social
Security and is now the Minister of Health; Anthony Hylton,
Derrick Kellier and Collin Campbell were not members of the
previous Cabinet; the Prime Minister has retained the Sport
portfolio and has added Defense and Women's Affairs. End
Summary.



2. (U) At midnight on March 31, just hours after being sworn
in as Jamaica's seventh Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller
announced the 14 members of her Cabinet. Following are
biographic capsules on the new Prime Minister and the members
of her Cabinet.



--------------------------

-
Prime Minister: Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller


--------------------------

-



3. (U) Simpson Miller was elected president of the People's
National Party (PNP) in February 2006 and became Prime
Minister of Jamaica on March 30 (Ref A). Most recently she
was Minister of Local Government, Community Development and
Sport, but she has also held the Labor portfolio. Simpson
Miller has retained the Sport portfolio and has added Defense
and Women,s Affairs to her responsibilities.



4. (C) The new Prime Minister served as Peoples National
Party (PNP) Vice President (1987-2006), and as President of
the PNP Women,s Movement since 1983. She has also served as
Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
She was first elected to Parliament in 1976, and has served
on the National Executive Council, the Executive Council and
as a Councilor in the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation
(KSAC). A powerful public speaker and a talented political
organizer, Simpson Miller also has wildly popular grassroots
support. However, her underprivileged background and lack of
&distinguished8 advanced degrees have brought criticism
from some in the middle- and upper class, including her own
party members, particularly K.D. Knight, who stepped down as
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade shortly before
Simpson Miller took office as Prime Minister. Simpson Miller
has a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in Public Administration
from Union Institute in Miami, a Certificate in Public
Relations and an Advanced Management Certificate from the
Jamaica Institute of Management (JIM). She also completed the
Executive Program for Leaders in Development at John F.
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Born on
December 12, 1945 in Woodhall, St. Catherine, Jamaica,
Simpson Miller was one of eight children and grew up in
relative poverty. She is married to Errald Miller, former
president of Cable and Wireless Jamaica.



5. (C) Simpson Miller's Kingston inner-city constituency of
St. Andrew SW is impoverished and considered a heavily
"garrisoned" community. The new PM has spoken out publicly
and privately against corruption, but she may well have to
take the difficult step of acting against some of her
longtime political supporters in order to give credibility to
these statements.



--------------------------


National Security: Peter Phillips


--------------------------





6. (C) The new Prime Minister retained Peter Phillips - her
closest and fiercest rival during the PNP campaign - as
Minister of National Security despite calls by critics to
replace him due to the persistence of high rates of violent
crime during his watch. Embassy Kingston and the UK and
Canadian High Commissions shared the concern that Simpson
Miller would replace Phillips with Commerce Minister Phillip
Paulwell, and shared relief that, at least for now, she has
not.



7. (C) Phillips became Minister of National Security in
November 2001 and has been aggressive in attacking Jamaica,s
persistent drug and crime problems. In the February 2006 PNP
elections, he was favored to succeed as President of the
party, but he came in a close second to Portia Simpson Miller
(Ref B). Phillips has been Member of Parliament for East
Central St. Andrew since 1994. Despite his Achilles heel of
high crime rates, he is generally perceived to be an
effective minister and a capable PNP administrator. Phillips
is pragmatic and has worked well Embassy Kingston, for which
some in his own party criticize him.



8. (C) Phillips was named to the Senate in 1989, served as
Junior Minister, PNP General Secretary, Minister without
Portfolio, Health Minister, Minister with Responsibility for
Electoral Matters, and Transport and Works Minister. In
1970, Phillips received a BA in sociology and political
science and a masters degree in international relations
(1977) from the University of the West Indies. He received a
Ford Foundation scholarship (1977-1981) and a Fulbright
Fellowship (1984 -1985). Phillips also has a doctorate in
sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton
(1985). Phillips was born on December 28, 1949 in Kingston,
Jamaica. Phillips has written several academic articles on
international political and economic relations. He enjoys
jogging, reading, listening to music, and playing squash. In
addition to English, Phillips speaks some Spanish. Phillips
is married to his second wife, Sandra Minott, who was born in
Ireland. They have two sons, and Phillips also has four
children from his previous marriage to a Rastafarian.



--------------------------


Foreign Affairs: George Anthony Hylton


--------------------------





9. (C) George Anthony "Tony" Hylton was appointed Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Hylton was not a serving
member of parliament and, therefore, was appointed senator in
order to be given cabinet portfolio. Hylton previously
served as Minister of Foreign Trade (February 2000 - December
2001). He served previously as a Member of Parliament for
Western St. Thomas and as Parliamentary Secretary at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. He was
promoted to Minister of State in April 1997 in recognition of
the growing importance of his international trade portfolio
and served as one of former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson,s
top aides.



10. (C) Hylton has a BA in Political Science from Morgan
State University in Baltimore, a law degree from Georgetown
University, and a diploma in air and space law from the
University of London. At Georgetown, Hylton became a legal
assistant for a Washington lobbying organization. He
practiced law in Baltimore, and later in New York (1987-1989)
and in Washington (1989), specializing in international
corporate law and commercial litigation. He returned to
Jamaica in 1989. Having migrated to the U.S. with his family
in the mid-1970's, Hylton has a good understanding of
American society. Hylton held a U.S. Legal Permanent
Resident card as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, but quietly
surrendered it for political reasons soon after joining
Simpson Miller's Cabinet. Hylton was born on April 27, 1957
in Yallahs, St. Thomas, Jamaica.


--------------------------


Finance: Omar Davies


--------------------------





11. (C) Omar Davies remains Minister of Finance and Planning.
He is a credible and effective minister and was considered
the private sector's preferred choice to replace Patterson.
However, on February 25 he came in a distant third to Prime
Minister Simpson Miller. Davies was re-elected to his South
St. Andrew parliament seat by the largest margin of any
candidate in 2002, 95 percent. Although he has no formal
economics training, Davies is an astute spokesperson who
staunchly defends the government's economic policies and is
skilled at explaining government positions. Davies is
considered a serious and demanding boss whose underlings jump
at his command.


12. (C) In 2001, Davies came under intense public scrutiny
when he offered a eulogy at the funeral of a notorious South
St. Andrew drug gang leader, Willie Haggart. In March 2005,
it was revealed that the Ministry of Finance used deferred
financing to support development projects without going to
Parliament for approval (Ref C). Some in the Ministry of
Finance believe the timing of the disclosure was politically
motivated and designed to hurt Davies in his campaign for
Prime Minister. Parliament discovered the Ministry of
Finance's illegal practice, which increased GOJ debt
obligations by more than JD 19 billion (USD 300 million). In
hearings before Parliament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
officials admitted that they knowingly broke the law.


13. (U) Davies received Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees
from Northwestern University in Urban Planning. He also has a
BA in geography and mathematics from the University of the
West Indies. Davies has also taught at Stanford University
and at the University of the West Indies. In addition, he is
a newspaper columnist and weekly radio commentator, and a
consultant to several international organizations. Born on
May 28, 1947, Davies is married and has two daughters and a
son. Though their names are spelled differently, Davies has
two brothers in public service. Dr. Carlton Davis has been
Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service since 1993.
Dr. Rae Davis is a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry
of Education and is President of the University of Technology.



--------------------------


Transportation: Robert Pickersgill


--------------------------





14. (C) Robert "Bobby" Pickersgill is widely considered a
mediocre administrator who likely benefited from Simpson
Miller's plan not to significantly change the Cabinet before
the upcoming election. Pickersgill retained his Cabinet post
under P.J. Patterson despite his shortcomings because of his
strong loyalty to the former Prime Minister and his key role
in overseeing party affairs as chairman of the PNP. Road
projects with cost overruns, missed deadlines, and
questionable financing arrangements have characterized
Pickersgill,s tenure at the Transport Ministry.


15. (U) Pickersgill has had responsibility for three
different Ministries since he was elected Member of
Parliament for North Western St. Catherine and appointed to
the Cabinet in 1989. He served as Minister of Mining and
Energy (1998-2001), Minister of Public Utilities, Transport
and Energy (1995-1998), and Minister of Transport
(1989-1993)(2002-current). After graduating from the
University of the West Indies in 1966 with a degree in
education, Pickersgill became a high school teacher. He later
trained locally as a lawyer, passed the English Solicitors
Examination, and is a partner in the law firm of Knight,
Pickersgill, Dowding and Samuels. Born on February 26, 1943,
in Kingston, Jamaica, Pickersgill is divorced with no
children. His interests include tennis, swimming and
dancing.


--------------------------


Education: Maxine Henry-Willson


--------------------------




16. (U) Despite having supported Peter Phillips' unsuccessful
campaign, Maxine Henry-Wilson remains Minister of Education
Youth and Culture. She was first elected as a Member of
Parliament in 2002 for south East St. Andrew. She is an avid
believer in education as a tool for change and expresses her
view that, "a nation that is well learned is a nation with
greater capacity to stand on its own."


17. (C) Henry-Willson served as PNP General Secretary and has
been credited with assisting the party,s victories in 1997
and in 2002. She was also Minister of Information from
2000-2001, before giving up the portfolio to focus on the
2002 general election. She is a former Minister Without
Portfolio (1994-2000), Junior Minister of Finance (1993) and
Junior Minister in the Prime Minister,s Office (1992).
Emboffs were impressed with Henry-Wilson as Information
Minister and as Campaign Manager for the 2002 general
election. Henry-Wilson is seen as capable, organized and
cooperative with the US Embassy. She is an excellent
communicator. Henry-Wilson earned BA and Masters degrees
from the University of the West Indies, and a Masters degree
from Rutgers. Henry-Wilson taught Public Policy at UWI, and
is seen as a good fit for the Minister of Education position.
Born February 1, 1952, in Manchester, Jamaica, Henry-Willson
is married and has one daughter.



--------------------------


Agriculture and Land: Roger Clark


--------------------------





18. (C) Roger Clark is the Minister of Agriculture and Land.
Clarke was Minister of Agriculture (1997-2006). When Prime
Minister Simpson Miller appointed him to her Cabinet, she
added Land to his previous Agriculture portfolio. Clarke
first entered national level politics in September 1991, when
he was elected to fill the NE St. Elizabeth Member of
Parliament seat left vacant by the death of PNP stalwart,
Sydney Pagon. He was made junior Minister of Agriculture in
1992 and Minister of Local Government and PNP Vice President
in 1995, a position he lost, to his evident surprise and
immense public embarrassment, in 2004. Clarke is a former
president of the St. Elizabeth Jamaica Agricultural Society
Branches and the Association of Local Government Authorities.
He also served on the boards of the National Water
Commission, the Rural Electrification Program and the
National Library Board.


19. (U) Born in Westmoreland in 1940, Clark is a farmer by
trade. His extensive agricultural background includes
managing major estates such as Appleton, as well as his own
sugar cane farm in St. Elizabeth. He is a down to earth and
open Minister. Clarke graduated from Mannings High School,
Savannah-La-Mar. He is married, and has one son and one
daughter.


--------------------------


Attorney General and Justice: A.J. Nicholson


--------------------------





20. (C) A.J. Nicholson remains Attorney General and Minister
of Justice and has been newly appointed as Leader of
Government Business in the Senate. In 1989, Nicholson was
elected to Parliament for West Central St. Andrew parish. He
is seen as arrogant and imperious in public, but is affable,
easy-going, cooperative and accepting of divergent views in
private. After earning a BA in economics from the University
of the West Indies, Nicholson studied law at the University
of London. He has worked in the banking industry and in
private law practice. Born February 28, 1942, in Rock River,
Clarendon, Nicholson is married and has two sons.



--------------------------


Local Government and Environment: Dean Peart


--------------------------




21. (C) Dean Alexander Peart was appointed Minister of Local
Government and Environment. Peart was previously Minister of
Land and Environment (2002-2006) and Minister for Transport
and Works (2001-2002). Dean Peart has also served as
Parliamentary Secretary in the Labor Ministry, Junior
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Junior Minister of Local
Government, Youth and Sports, Junior Minister of Local
Government and Works, and Junior Minister for Transport and
Works.



22. (U) Peart was educated at West Indies College. His father
was a PNP Minister and High Commissioner to London. His
brother, Michael Peart, won the Southern Manchester seat in
the October 2002 election, and is Speaker of the House. Born
in Mandeville on May 7, 1949, Peart is married with five
children.



--------------------------

---
Industry, Commerce and Science: Phillip Paulwell


--------------------------

---



23. (C) Phillip Paulwell remains Minister of Industry,
Commerce, Science and Technology a position he has held since


2002. Following Simpson Miller's victory, Paulwell sat in on
her meetings with U.S., UK and Canadian diplomats on national
security issues leading to concern that he would be named
National Security Minister. Paulwell is believed to
associate with known or suspected criminals, and he has a
probably valid reputation of involvement in illicit
activities. He was behind a 2005 blockage of incoming
international phone calls to pressure U.S. and international
carriers to accede to a unilateral, GOJ-imposed tax.
Paulwell has attempted to foster a modern, competitive
telecommunications sector as a means to jump-start Jamaica,s
economy. He consistently emphasizes a desire to expand trade
and investment ties to the U.S. In 1995, Paulwell was
appointed Senator representing Kingston and minister of state
for Commerce and Technology.
Until 2001, Paulwell was considered an outside contender to
succeed Prime Minister P.J. Patterson. However, when
Paulwell,s ministry was involved in inappropriately
approving a US $4 million loan for Netserv, a global
communications services company, before its 2001 collapse,
his political star dimmed considerably. Despite calls for
Paulwell,s resignation after the scandal, however, former PM
Patterson stood by him, and Paulwell's backing of Simpson
Miller's campaign may have given new life to his political
aspirations.



24. (U) In 1986, Paulwell earned a law degree from the
University of the West Indies and a certificate in legal
education from the Norman Manley Law School in 1988. He
became a lawyer in 1988. Born in 1962, Paulwell is divorced
from his second wife, a former Miss Jamaica, and he has one
teenage daughter.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Tourism, Entertainment and Culture: Aloun N'Dombet-Assamba


--------------------------



--------------------------





25. (U) Aloun N'Dombet Assamba was appointed Minister of
Tourism, Entertainment and Culture. Assamba held the
position of Minister of Industry and Tourism (2002-2006).
Previously she had managed the City of Kingston Credit Union,
before being appointed as a Senator and Junior Industry,
Commerce and Technology Minister. Assamba served as Member of
Parliament for South East St. Ann.



26. (C) After studying law at the University of the West
Indies and Norman Manley Law School, Assamba attended the
University of Pittsburgh for a one-year fellowship. Born
February 27, 1955, in St. Catherine, Jamaica, Assamba is
described as high-energy, professional, and a capable
performer committed to excellence. She is divorced and has
one son. Assamba has suffered health problems recently, and
has been out of the limelight for treatment.



--------------------------


Health: Horace Washington Dalley


--------------------------





27. (C) Horace Washington Dalley was appointed Minister of
Health, having served previously as Minister of Labor, where
he was considered a weak performer. Dalley is a Member of
Parliament for Northern Clarendon. He has made public
comments on the need for dictator-type measures to address
Jamaica,s rising crime. Originally from the left wing of
the PNP that worked closely with Cuba in the 1970s, Dalley
has moved toward the center. He jokes privately about the
failure of more doctrinaire party members, such as his former
boss, Donald Buchanan, to keep up with the times. Dalley has
been an enthusiastic supporter of the Jamaican TCN labor
program at Guantanamo Bay as well as the H2B visa programs
under which thousands of Jamaicans participate in seasonal
jobs in the U.S. agriculture and resort industries. A
teacher by profession, Dalley has been the International
Secretary of the PNP. He was Technical Attach at the

SIPDIS
Jamaican Embassy in Cuba in the 1970s. Born in Mitchell
Town, Clarendon in 1955, Daley attended Mico Teachers,
College. He has two daughters, and he speaks Spanish.


--------------------------


Labor and Social Security: Derrick Kellier


--------------------------





28. (U) Derrick Kellier was appointed Minister of Labor and
Social Security. Kellier, previously, Minister of State in
the Ministry of National Security, represents Southern St.
James as Member of Parliament for the PNP. Mr. Kellier
served as Minster of State in the Office of the Prime
Minister, and as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of
Local Government, Youth and Community Development. A farmer
and a businessman, Kellier is a former Chairman of the PNP
Youth Organization, and a member of the National Executive
Council.


29. (U) Kellier, born May 27, 1947, attended Calabar High
School and is a baptist who enjoys playing music, dominoes
and cricket. Kellier is married to Claudia Kellier and has
four children.


--------------------------


Information and Development: Collin Campbell


--------------------------





30. (U) Collin Campbell was appointed Minister of Information
and Development. Like Hylton, he is not a member of
parliament, and, consequently, was appointed senator in order
to be given a Cabinet portfolio. Campbell was former
Minister of Information in Patterson's administration;
however, in 2002 when he lost his seat in Parliament to Dr.
St. Aubyn Bartlett of the Jamaica Labor Party, he also lost
his cabinet ministry.



31. (C) A communications consultant and former journalist,
Campbell has extensive local public relations and media
contacts. He was a leftist activist during the 1970,s, and
was identified as an "up and comer" after he won the 1993
elections, toppling the then Deputy Leader of the JLP to
become a first-time Member of Parliament for the PNP in the
Eastern St. Andrew constituency. In 1980, Campbell worked as
press secretary to former Prime Minister, the late Michael
Manley, with whom he was very close. Born on February 27,
1955, in Mandeville, Jamaica, Campbell did his post-secondary
schooling (2 years) in Sydney, Australia. Campbell is
married and has two sons.
TIGHE