The United Progressive Party (UPP) will bring pressure to bear on the newly elected Browne Administration, promises Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle, given the manner in which ministerial appointments have been made.
Specifically, Pringle takes issue with the portfolios of Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his wife, Maria Browne.
Browne returns as Minister of Finance, Corporate Governance and Public-Private Partnerships – under which there are many revenue-generating departments and agencies – while his wife controls the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Renewal, with the added responsibility of the Ministry of Works.
These appointments are unfair, Pringle says, and they pave the way for nepotism and the inequitable distribution of State resources.
According to the Opposition Leader, all the resources of Antigua and Barbuda are concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and Maria Browne and in one family.
There needs to be a fairer distribution, he says, and this should not be determined by the husband-and-wife parliamentarians and Cabinet members.
Accordingly, he says the UPP will mount a serious protest against these appointments, and it will not be business as usual in the upcoming parliamentary session.
In the meantime, Pringle says the Browne Administration continues on its path of treating the people of Antigua and Barbuda unfairly.
Pringle also raised the issue of those Africans who have been brought to Antigua in what many believe is a human-trafficking ring.
Many of these persons say they have been trying to get to other destinations, but have been unable to leave this country as they were promised.
Pringle notes that the Browne Administration is yet to explain the reason the Africans were brought here, since it does not appear to be for tourism, as a Cabinet member claimed recently.