PM’s promise of duty-free concessions is equivalent to bribery, Lovell says, and legal consultation on the matter is underway

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is taking Prime Minister Gaston
Browne to task for promises he made recently on the campaign trail
and is threatening legal action.
While, in the 2023 Budget Presentation, Browne had warned
individuals and the business community that he would be curtailing
the issue of duty-free concessions, he is now singing a different tune.
During a one-man stump in Bolans last weekend, Browne – the
minister of finance – announced that any Antiguan wishing to obtain
a duty-free concession, or even land, could get it through him.

The UPP considers this campaign strategy an act of desperation; but,
going further, its former political leader, Harold Lovell says the
prime minister appears not to realize that his statement is
tantamount to bribery.
However, Lovell says, the Party has already documented what
Browne said in public.
He acknowledges that, in past instances, the UPP did not go as far as
it should have, legally; but this by-election is going to be a test case
in many ways, he says.
Lovell, an attorney-at-law, also shared that he has held consultations
with other lawyers and, together, they are monitoring the situation
with the intention of taking this matter further.

There are persons gathering relevant information, Lovell says, and
he warns Labour Party candidate Dwayne George that if the
evidence shows he is involved in treating and bribery, he will have
to face the courts.
Earlier reports said the Labour Party had been distributing “gifts” in
the St. Mary’s South constituency, including food, bicycles and
electrical items. At present, however, on-the-ground sources claim
there is a heavy distribution of cash.