Full story: Freundel Stuart
IF THERE WAS AN attempted palace coup against Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of the ruling Democratic Labour Party, heads will roll.
In an exclusive and frank interview at the annual Christmas children’s party at Ilaro Court yesterday evening, Prime Minister Stuart stated that if there was indeed an attempt to derail his Government, it clearly had not worked and “certain consequences will have to follow”.
News broke last week of a possible DLP rift when the SUNDAY SUN obtained a letter containing the names of 11 Government MPs requesting an urgent audience with the Prime Minister.
Briefly waxing philosophical, Stuart, who officially took over the helm of Government following the death of Prime Minister David Thompson on October 23, last year, told the SUNDAY SUN:
“If I understand history at all, if a coup is attempted and it succeeds, the person against whom the coup was aimed usually pays for it with his neck. If the coup fails, the plotters and those who were trying to execute it pay for it with their necks.
“If it fails, those who bungled it pay for it with their necks. So, let’s wait and see,” he said with a hearty chuckle as music boomed from the party’s stage just outside the Prime Minister’s official residence.
Asked whether there was in fact an attempted “palace coup”, Stuart said: “I don’t know whether there was an attempted coup, a coup or not. I really don’t know. I’ve never received any letter from anybody. I am not aware of any such thing. I heard that your newspaper has some letter . . . and so on. “I have never seen any such letter.
“If there was such an attempt,” he added, “it obviously has not succeeded, and certain consequences will have to follow. If it has succeeded – if there was such an attempt – certain consequences will follow, so consequences follow in any event.”
The upbeat Prime Minister also gave the assurance his Government was not in disarray.
“I don’t think that there’s anything to be agitated about. I would just say that as far as I’m aware, based on all that I saw yesterday and based on all that I’m aware of, the Government is intact.”
The 60-year-old leader noted, however, that if he had any cause for disquiet at all, it would be that for four years the official Opposition party had been trying to get the Government and Democratic Labour Party “onto the front pages of the newspaper” in a negative light, and had failed.
Therefore, he reasoned, any current success in portraying the ruling party in a negative light could not be traced to the Opposition.
“It would have to be traced to people in the governing party, and that is a matter for regret. That we could be so reckless with our own goodwill to throw it away like that or to endanger it like that is a matter for regret.
“But I did not get us onto the front pages or get us into the headlines of the news in this way, I am innocent of all of that. So we’ll wait and see how things unfold,” he stated.
Remarking that the names of those responsible for the letter were scheduled to be published today, Stuart said he “couldn’t be more relaxed” and was “quite good” as he awaited the outcome of the week-long saga.