Governor General Sir Rodney Williams does not have the courage to call an inquiry into the controversial Antigua Airways saga without offending Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
That’s the consensus of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) spokesperson on legal matters Attorney Chaku Symister.
The party along with the concerned citizen’s group and others have been demanding that a probe be done into the Antigua Airways saga and the arrival of thousands of West African Migrants in the country.
“It would offend the Prime Minister who got him appointed and who can have him removed from office”, Symister said during an interview on Observer radio.
“We believe that the letter he sent to us was not surprising but it does not end our determination to see a Commission of Inquiry set up so the people of Antigua and Barbuda can know what happened and we intend to take a number of actions to convinced him that this is required”, he added.
The party began a series of pickets outside the Governor General’s Office yesterday to ramp up support for its call.
At least two senior members of the legal fraternity have concluded that Sir Rodney does have the power to call an inquiry without the consent of the Cabinet or the prime minister in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act.
However, the government, acting on the advice of two UK-based Kings Counsels has determined that approval is needed from the Prime Minister and that the wording in the legislation is not clear.
“Our Governor General does not have the courage to stand up to the government. What in essence he is telling us is that this government can do whatever it likes and there is no watchdog, there is no oversight committee to look at the actions of the Cabinet. The only thing we have is the Commission of Inquiry Act,” Symister said.
He stated that instead of going back and forth with opinions, the GG should instead dialogue with the Leader of the Opposition and agree on a single attorney who would provide an opinion on the matter.
The party will continue its activities throughout the week in hopes of getting the attention of the authorities.