Prime Minister Denies Conflict of Interest in Sale of Building to Son

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Gaston Browne in Parliament March 26, 2024

Prime Minister Denies Conflict of Interest in Sale of Building to Son During Opposition Questioning in Parliament-

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne, responding to opposition questions in parliament last week, vehemently denied any conflict of interest in the sale of a building by the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) to his son.

Browne addressed the matter emphasizing the following points:

“Mr. Speaker, this matter has been fully ventilated, and to the best of my knowledge, you cannot repeatedly bring the same issue to parliament at every sitting; it’s an abuse of the process,” Browne asserted, highlighting the extensive discussion that had already taken place.

Regarding financial benefits, Browne stated firmly, “There’s no benefit, no rent has been paid.”

He further explained, “When you look at the fact that there were some improvements, those improvements were done for the benefit of ministry officials to make them comfortable.”

Browne also addressed concerns about fairness in property transactions, stating, “No one was deprived of the opportunity to purchase the property.”

He added, “The properties were on the market since they have been vacant since the American University moved out over 15 years ago.”

Responding to allegations of favoritism, Browne highlighted, “There’s no financial benefit for anyone, so therefore the issue of a conflict of interest does not arise.”

He urged attention to factual details, stating, “We have indicated that the ministry, on its own volition, would have caused an area of Crown Land to be paved where they established a parking lot for the benefit of the ministry.”

Browne dismissed the allegations, stating, “Mr. Speaker, we have indicated that this issue about the rental of the property that there’s no conflict.”

He urged a focus on substantive matters, saying, “I know, Mr. Speaker, that the two members on the other side, they are seeking attention. Obviously, they can’t stand on their own steam, so they’re trying to generate some kind of controversy.”

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7 COMMENTS

    • It’s a gift; worse than a conflict.
      No one has asked yet how much did he pay for the buildings, and what was the payment arrangement.

  1. According to law, when there appears to be a conflict of interest in the minds of a reasonable and objective man, there is a conflict of interest or the appearance of one that needs to be remedied. Remedy usually means separating the situation so that there is no appearance of such. Here, it is clear there is am actual conflict of interest or at minimum, the appearance of one.

    However, Antigua is not based on law or logic, so his supported will not care how this looks. This entire transaction appears to be wrong and is all the law requires.

    The Prime Minister’ son is truly getting business done. Wish I could say the same. Did he get his fire-arms license too?

  2. Why didn’t the crime minister and his god daughter (wife) get public works to fix up the agriculture building at country pond, telling us that no rent is being paid is nonsense, tax payers monies already went into your son’s building, you’re a wicked bad minded son of a bit h

  3. Gaston Browne: If conflict of interest hit you in the face you would deny it.On the West Indies Oil matter and your son.There is in my opinion,a conflict of interest.Reason,your wife Maria Browne is on the Board of Directors at West Indies Oil.She is your wife and the mother in law to your son.How did your son know the building were for sale.Why those sales were not made public.So that those with interests could throw their names into the pile.It was all done under the carpet,hush,hush.West Indies Oil is a Public Company with majority shares owned by “the people”.However,you people think it is owned by you as a Family.

    • This was a gift period. I said it before snd I’ll say it again. I dare Gaston to sue me for defamation.
      The details will come out when I get a writ for the records.
      Should Gaston sue me for defamation I will have to prove it was an illegal gift; and to do so the Government and WIOC will have to provide the requested records so that I can prove what is my case of defense.

      Those thieves will not be so bold for they will loose the lucrative piece estate. They would rather to be called thieves than to go after me and to loose the stolen property.

  4. WHAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST?:

    A conflict of interest occurs when an individual’s personal interests – in family, friendships, financial or social factors could compromise his or her judgment; decisions or actions in the workplace.

    THE HONEST HARDWORKING CITIZENS OF ANTIGUA & BARBUDA REST THEIR CASE AGAINST THE PM YOUR HONOUR ⚖️

    CIP CIP … (OPPS! HIP HIP 😉)

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