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Inniss shifts onus to Arthur

Gercine Carter

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“OWEN ARTHUR, did you inform members of your Cabinet of where you would be shifting them to when you took the decision to reshuffle your team?”
That question is being put to the former Prime Minister by Minister of Health Donville Inniss, who challenged former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Cabinet members to come forward and let the public know.
He was responding to a Back Page article in Monday’s DAILY NATION, in which Arthur charged that ailing Prime Minister David Thompson might have abused his powers by assigning ministers to new portfolios “without the individual’s knowledge or approval”.
“I am not saying it should or should not be done. What I am asking is did you, Owen Arthur, do it?” asked Inniss.
“We are part of a political system vesting certain powers in the office of Prime Minister. A ministerial post is not something you submit an application form for. I can say that Prime Minister Thompson has always acted fairly.
“When Prime Minister Arthur wanted to fire someone, yes, he did give them calls and that is well known and has been reported and cannot be disputed. But who received calls when they were being shifted? Members of his Cabinet should come out and let the public know.”
The bottom line, according to Inniss, was that there was a power struggle within the BLP and both Arthur and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley were trying to grab headlines.
“The recent utterances of Arthur and Mottley have more to do with the upcoming BLP conference and the battle for power.
“It is clear that Arthur is backing [St Andrew Member of Parliament] George Payne, who is vying for leadership of the party at the upcoming annual conference. The question is, where will Mottley stand if she loses to Payne later this month?
“When the BLP stops all of its infighting then they can talk to us about leadership.
“I can say that on our side we are a united team and once the good Lord continues to give Thompson strength, he will continue to get the support of his team and the country.” (CG)