Friday, 13 April 2012 02:30
By Ian Magic Hughes
Antigua St John's - Minister of Health Wilmoth Daniel’s demand for an inquiry into the Chinese Power Plant issue has been unanimously rejected by the Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda and the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Minister of Finance and the Economy and Public Affairs Harold Lovell made the announcement on Thursday on Observer Radio.
The finance minister spoke with Winston Derrick and Agnes Francis on the daily talk show, Voice of the People.
On March 20, Daniel wrote to the prime minister demanding that a public inquiry be held in connection with the controversial Chinese power plant.
According to Lovell, the Cabinet shot down the call for the probe.
“The matter came up for discussion in Cabinet, and each member of Cabinet spoke on the issue, and there is unanimous support for the position taken by the prime minister," Lovell said. “There is unanimous rejection of the call for any inquiry."
Lovell added that the members of the Cabinet are pleased with the information they received from Antigua Power Utility Authority (APUA) on the power plant.
“There is a belief that what has transpired thus far, for the purposes of the members of Cabinet, that we are satisfied with the information provided by the persons, the technical people from APUA, so we see no need to take the matter any further,” he said.
Lovell went on to say that the need for an investigation into the power plant was manufactured from some unknown place.
“The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda is firm that this matter is something that has come from where we don’t know, but we do not agree with the sentiments expressed in the letter,” Lovell emphasized.
And not only the Cabinet, but the party, after being briefed, is also in total agreement with the stance taken by the Cabinet.
“The central executive of the UPP has weighed in on the matter, having this matter brought to their attention," the minister said. “It is now in the public domain, and similarly, the central executive of the party is unanimous in support with the position of the prime minister of Antigua & Barbuda, the Honourable Baldwin Spencer."
During a press conference earlier this year, journalists were asked to submit questions to be answered at a later date.
Many of those questions have been unanswered.
Asked whether there would be a follow-up to the matter, Lovell said he is satisfied that all the questions have been answered.
“The follow-up that you can expect is that should you be able to provide anything that forms a basis for further investigation, I think that the relevant question will first of all be put to those persons charged with the responsibility of providing electric power to the people of Antigua & Barbuda namely APUA,” Lovell said.
He added, “If they are unable to answer it, then I think a question arises why you can’t answer it. If there is something that if you have a document, you have something that says something is awry, please give me an answer to this, then I think you are entitled to an explanation."
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