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Experienced lawyer completes ULP’s senator lineup

Experienced lawyer completes ULP’s senator lineup
Keisal Peters

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Keisal Peters, a 34-year-old lawyer of nine years experience has been named as the fourth Senator for the Unity Labour Party(ULP); completing the line-up.

Peters, who has been working at the Elizabeth Law Chambers, under Stanley ‘Stalky’ John QC since being called to the Bar in November 2011, will also be the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

“I was determined to have a young woman. I was determined to have a child of the Education Revolution, and I was determined to have someone from within one of the three Kingstown seats,” Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves explained on the NBC Radio Morning Cup program this Wednesday, November 18.

When he made this statement, the Prime Minister was in the process of addressing the rumour that his daughter, Isis Gonsalves, also a lawyer, would be the one to fill these positions.

“The simple fact of the matter is this: my daughter Isis who is doing a remarkable job on the Security Council team, along with the other members of our Security Council team at the United Nations – was never, ever in my contemplation,” he informed the radio hosts.

He added, “Neither was any other member of the staff at the United Nations, in my contemplation to be Senator and Junior Minister.”

Instead, he revealed that his choice was Peters, who hails from the West Kingstown side of Campden Park.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that Peters has been working under John for many years, and “there are persons who may feel that because ‘Stalky’, in his more recent years, and certainly since 2000, 2001, has a political antipathy towards the ULP, or to Ralph, that somebody who works there necessarily has that antipathy.”

However, he followed that Peters is, “a professional, and they deal with law, they don’t deal with politics.”

The Prime Minister noted that he had considered several persons.

“Even though they would have in my view measured up, but for one reason or another… nothing connected to politics, in the sense of partisan politics…but I considered in all the circumstances –Keisal Melissa Peters, KMP as I call her for short, suitable.”

Peters was appointed Senator on Monday, November 16, but will be appointed as a Minister of State from November 30, this being the date of the first session of Parliament since the general elections of November 5.

Peters joins another 34-year-old female lawyer, Ashelle Morgan, who was named a Senator at the swearing in ceremony of Cabinet members last week. Morgan is also poised to take up the position of Deputy Speaker.

These lawyers are joined in their Senatorial positions by another fresh face: Rochard ‘Pitbull’ Ballah, a lecturer at the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Community College (SVGCC), and a broadcaster and disc jockey.

The 36-year-old was also sworn in as a member of Cabinet; as the parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Security, Legal Affairs and Information.

These young bloods are joined by veteran Senator, Julian Francis, who has been in this position since 2001. Francis has taken on the responsibility of Minister of Urban Development, Energy, Airports, Seaports, Grenadines Affairs and Local Government in the new Cabinet.