You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
Leader Jamale Pringle has denied claims that the Opposition United Progressive Party boycotted the budget debate, stating that the Party’s six representatives and their colleague, Barbuda MP Trevor Walker, were preparing for the discussion on Tuesday morning.
Pringle explained that due to the short time frame of one business day to prepare, difficulties in reaching critical government offices, and the critical need for consultation with constituents and advisors, it was “impossible” for them to be ready that day.
As a result, the Government began the debate, including hurling various criticisms and accusations at the absent Members, and rushed it to the conclusion the same day.
Pringle assures Party supporters and the public in general that the UPP parliamentarians will deliver their properly researched presentations during “The People’s Parliament.”
He says that this will take place after the holiday celebrations, when people are less distracted and in a better position to hear and absorb what they are saying.
The debate was initially slated to start on Monday, December 18, the next business day after the budget was presented.
However, Pringle said the Opposition bench objected, stating that it did not allow them enough time to prepare properly and to seek advice from the experts.
Pringle and MP Richard Lewis, felt that Thursday, December 21, would have been more appropriate and in keeping with the traditional period of time for a response.