Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne.
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ST JOHN’S – Governor General, Rodney Williams, will deliver the traditional Thorne Speech, when the Antigua and Barbuda parliament meets for the first time since the March 21 general election.
The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) headed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne won the polls by a convincing 15-2 margin.
Williams is expected to outline the priorities of the government for the next 12 months in his address.
Parliament will meet on April 13 and according to a statement that followed the weekly Cabinet meeting, legislators will “consider several bills.
It said that Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin had informed the Cabinet that the Barbuda Land (Amendment) Act will be repealed.
The lone representative of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) in Parliament, Trevor Walker, has already indicated that he would strenuously argue against the plans by the Browne government to repeal the Barbuda Land Act of 2007.
“Barbudans, this is unacceptable; this is going to change our way of life, and in short, we are going to lose our beloved island. BPM, with my leadership, will fight this. This is not in our best interest,” Walker said in a video address.
Walker has asked Prime Minister Browne to revisit his decision to repeal the legislation.
“I want to call on the prime minister, to ask him respectfully to review this decision and to shelve changing our land tenure. It is going to hurt us, prime minister; it is going to hurt our children; it is going to hurt our economy and it is going to hurt the nation of Antigua and Barbuda,” Walker said.
But the government has said that the present legislation is unconstitutional and prior to the general election, successfully tabled legislation in the Parliament amending the Barbuda Land Act to allow Barbudans to have private ownership of land.
According to the statement issued after the Cabinet meeting, the “Parliament will also consider a new law that will allow the government to exchange plots of land in rural Antigua for plots of land within the city of St John’s that are continuously unkempt and may even have rotting houses situate thereon”. (CMC)