The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda during its weekly sitting, today expressed their condemnation of slurs on the character of Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, by persons opposed to the government.
“Cabinet ministers accept that they and the Prime Minister, by virtue of their positions, are open to scrutiny and criticism”, Director General of Communications Maurice Merchant said. But, he added, “Cabinet Ministers consider that there is a line between genuine criticism and smears, and they are of the firm view that the line has been crossed by the recent attempts to denigrate the Prime Minister’s standing”.
Merchant stated that “Cabinet Ministers deplore the willingness of certain sections of the media to allow themselves to be used in what is clearly a campaign by members of the United Progressive Party (UPP) to degrade the Prime Minister whose performance has put the nation’s economy on an outstanding growth path, exposing their own failure in government.”
Weighing in on the issue, veteran politician and senior Minister, Sir Robin Yearwood, declared that the tactics are obvious. “They believe that if they can discredit the Head of Government and leader of the Labour Party, they will weaken the party and the government, but those tactics will not work against the reality of solid performance.”
Remarking on the Prime Minister’s visit to the Five Islands Primary School, his inspirational talk to third and sixth Graders and the St. Valentine’s Day gifts he presented to the students through their principal, another senior Minister, Molwyn Joseph, said “the Prime Minister’s objective was to motivate the young people in whose circumstances he was born and grew-up.”
“To suggest that the obvious admiration of the prime minister by the students of the school was due to their being ‘plied with gifts’ is an unforgivable insult to the intelligence of the young people,” Joseph declared.
Both senior ministers, speaking on behalf of their colleagues, said that the Prime Minister and the entire government remain focused on delivering economic growth and social development for the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“No amount of alternative facts and false assertions will change the reality that, under the Prime Ministership of Gaston Browne, the country is on the move”, the ministers said.