Urgent calls are being made for constitution reform as it relates to
the powers vested in a prime minister.
Many residents believe the rights accorded to the head of
government are far too extensive and that Prime Minister Gaston
Browne has been abusing his authority to intimidate and otherwise
During their industrial action staged on Monday, November 13,
some employees of the Antigua Port Authority claimed that Browne
has been using his influence to stymie negotiations with the Antigua
Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU), since, for four years, they have
been trying to work out a collective bargaining agreement.
The AT&LU is known to have a degree of affiliation with the ruling
Antigua Labour Party Administration.
Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister says it appears
that even the powers to call a General Election and to appoint a date
for swearing in a new member of the Lower House are being abused
Accordingly, Symister says it will require some changes to the
Constitution to address this situation and to curtail the powers of a
He believes that giving such sweeping powers to this single individual is one of the weaknesses in the country’s Supreme Law.
Symister, the United Progressive Party (UPP) spokesperson on legal issues, says the UPP is therefore committed to Constitution reform
and pledges to address this once elected to public office.
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