Although there has never been a national debate between the leaders of the country’s main political parties ahead of general elections, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said he would be willing to participate in such an exercise.
The St. John’s City West MP said whomever the main opposition United Progressive Party would nominate to engage him, he is up to the task.
“I will never refuse an opportunity to debate my political opponent, whomever that may be. I would imagine that as the leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, that the person who has the locus would be the Leader of the Opposition (Jamale Pringle).
“Now that would be a total mismatch! “Now, if they sent Harold Lovell, he is just as weak,” Browne said. “This also raises the question: If I debate Lovell, would that mean that I would have to debate the leaders of the other parties such as the DNA as well?” he queried.
The prime minister continued, saying while he sees the value of a debate, he is equally confident that the people of Antigua and Barbuda are fully aware of his government’s policies and successes.
“I have been on a radio programme practically every Saturday (The Browne and Browne Show on Pointe FM) and there’s hardly anything to debate as we have been one of the most open and transparent government(s) this country has had. Then there’s the post Cabinet press conferences each week,” he said.
Browne explained that among the reasons for his weekly appearance on Pointe FM are his desire to address current issues, to be held accountable about matters including his own personal conduct, and to keep the nation informed about his government’s activities.
There have been calls emanating from some quarters for a debate between the prime minister and a senior representative of the UPP.- POINTE XPRESS