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Antigua MP says, ‘sorry’

By ANDRE BAGOO Saturday, July 5 2014

CHET GREENE, the recently sworn-in Minister from Antigua and Barbuda who last month publicly said he was confident that Jack Warner’s Indepen-dent Liberal Party (ILP), “will be the Government of Trinidad and Tobago”, has written Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar retracting and apologising for that remark.

According to Government Whip Dr Roodal Moonilal, Greene wrote the Prime Minister expressing “deep apologies” on July 3. The Whip read out the contents of the letter in Parliament yesterday as debate on procurement legislation continued.

“Dear Honourable Prime Minister,” the letter reportedly said. “I write to apologise to you and your party for remarks I made at a convention of the Independent Labour Party on June 30, 2014. In retrospect I recognise that the remarks were inappropriate and I withdraw them unreservedly. The remarks were entirely my own reflective of an earlier personal relationship and do not reflect the position of the party or my government.”

The letter continued, “My Prime Minister, the Honourable Gaston Browne and the Antigua and Barbuda government, including me, are committed to working in close friendship with you and your government in the mutual interest of our two countries and the Caribbean community.”

On June 29, at an ILP one-year anniversary function, Greene had said, “I’m confident that in a matter of months the ILP will be the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Moonilal did not account for the difference in dates, but appeared to be referring to the same remarks. While the Whip was reading the letter, Diego Martin Central MP Dr Amery Browne raised objection. He was overruled by Speaker Wade Mark.

However, Speaker Mark later asked Moonilal to link the matter back to the debate at hand in relation to procurement.

Moonilal said the Antiguan Minister had been, “baited and misled.”

“They accuse us of not following transparency and integrity. This is one attack on the Government,” Moonilal said, adding he was, “shocked” when he saw the headline. “Look what you put this man through,” Moonilal said. “This man has not even settled into his post and he nearly get fired! Regrettably, our friend, the member for Chaguanas West ‘chained’ him up.”

Greene was recently sworn in as Antigua’s Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Sports, Culture, National Festivals and Youth Empowerment.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar this week attended a Caricom meeting held at Antigua, hosted by Browne.

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