Spencer to fire two ministers
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer says he will dismiss two government legislators who failed to support legislation for his administration’s Citizenship by Investment Programme that he said would result in significant economic gains for Antigua and Barbuda.
Last Wednesday the legislators sided with the opposition in defeating the bill and in a radio and television broadcast on Friday night, Prime Minister Spencer said “this failure was due to four government senators siding with the Opposition and voted against the Bill in its entirety.
“This action by these four government senators constitutes a fundamental break with government’s policy,” he said, adding “what is worse is that their actions came as a bolt from the sky.
“At no time was I, as head of government and the mover of the Bill in my capacity as Prime Minister, informed or advised whether formally or informally of their deep and fundamental disagreement that would have led them to kill the bill, and by so doing, pull the rug from under the feet of the government.”
Spencer said as the person who piloted the legislation he was also “charged with presenting the views of the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda and by extension speaking to the implementation of a declared policy decision of the Government.
“The four Senators who voted with the opposition, in effect voted against their government’s own policy directive. In our Westminster system of government, when government officials can no longer support the policies of government, especially at the parliamentary level, and demonstrate that by voting against a Bill, then the expected and right thing to do is to resign.”
He said the actions of the senators “are the clearest indication and which could only be capable of one interpretation, and that is they defeated a government Bill in the Senate.