PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday defended the size of her Cabinet, saying that the number was necessary due to the level of work needed to get the country moving in the right direction as fast as possible.
"Given the present situation in the country at this time, for us to get running, we had to have enough people to get the work done immediately," said the prime minister during an impromptu press briefing following a service at the Portmore New Testament Church of God in Bayside, St Catherine, which was attended by Government ministers and other officials.
The 20-member Executive, along with eight state ministers, was sworn in on Friday, but the prime minister immediately came under criticism from political analysts and other commentators over the size of the Executive. The critics also stated that Simpson Miller had herself criticised the then Prime Minister Bruce Golding over his 18-member Cabinet.
During the swearing in ceremony at King's House, Simpson Miller sought to defend her decision to appoint that number of junior ministers, calling it a part of the succession plan. This, however, did not stop the flood of criticism.
Yesterday, an unfazed Simpson Miller defended the decision.
"I heard the criticisms and I had made criticisms myself. But the country was calling for succession planning," said Simpson Miller.
"How do I do that? First of all with the state of the country, you have to get the people with the required experience to take charge now. How are we going to get the young people involved if you do not assign them to the experienced seniors so they can come into their own?" she said.