August 9, 2022

Outgoing Antigua GG accuses government of lying regarding her removal

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laketack-1-1From Caribbean360

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday August 14, 2014, CMC – Outgoing Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack Wednesday accused the new Gaston Browne government of lying to the country regarding her removal from office.

Dame Louise will be replaced by former legislator Dr. Rodney Williams as the ceremonial head of the country, on Thursday, two months after the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) won the June 12 general election.

Government’s Chief of Staff Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, speaking on the State-owned ABS television Wednesday, hinted that the head of state had been fired, telling viewers had Dame Louise agreed to resign, she would have left with greater benefits.

“There are greater benefits bestowed on the Governor General if that person resigns, but this Governor General did not resign,” he told viewers, adding “this current Governor General has made a demand for almost a million dollars in benefits.

“We don’t believe that amount is justified,” Hurst said, adding the matter is before the relevant authorities to deal with.

He said the outgoing head of state would receive her monthly salary, estimated at EC$15,000 (One EC dollar=US$.0.37 cents) for the rest of her life in addition to other benefits.

But in an immediate response to Hurst’s comments, the outgoing head of state said the events as outlined by the government’s chief of staff were untrue.

“I heard Max Hurst saying that they sacked me or asked for me to leave. I want Antiguans and Barbudans to note that no one in Antigua has the jurisdiction to sack any governor general. They only can ask Her Majesty to remove that person”.

She said that she had “concurred with the Palace that I would like to leave” adding that “they (government) asked for my removal four days after they were elected.”

Dame Louise, 69, who was appointed under the former Baldwin Spencer administration in 2007, accused the government of informing the Palace that “everything “was in place for her smooth removal.

“They have frequently lied to the Palace as to putting everything in place for my smooth dismissal. I have a letter written by the Palace and sent to me only on the sixth of August thanking them for the assurance everything was put in place for my smooth retirement, but nothing of the sort was done until this very week when we had to meet with the Attorney General,” said Dame Louise, an attorney.

She said it was only because “I do not wish to embarrass Her Majesty…why I am keeping quiet”.

Meanwhile, Dr. Williams said he intends to use his tenure as head of state to bring a new perspective to the office.

“I think I would like to do the best job that I basically can. I would like to bring possibly a new perspective to being Governor General,” he told television viewers.

Williams will take the oath of office at a ceremony here on Thursday and will address both house of parliament on Friday.


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Dame Louise names nine new knights

From The Daily Observer

The nation has nine new Sirs and Dames, after a late afternoon swearing-in ceremony at Government House Wednesday.

Before she demitted office at midnight, former-Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack awarded knighthoods to several prominent Antiguans and Barbudans.

The new knights are: Owner of Harney Motors Sir Ewart Harney; Businessman and former APUA Chairman Sir Clarvis Joseph; former British High Commissioner Dr Sir Carl Roberts; Founder of Kennedy’s Club Sir Glasford Francis and Attorney Sir Geoffrey Tack.

The dames awarded are: Ombudsman Dame Eusalyn Samuel-Lewis; former-President of the Senate Dame Hazlyn Francis; Permanent Secretary in the Governor General’s Office Dame Valerie Smith; and former-Speaker of the House Dame D Gisele Isaac.

Several other lesser awards were given.

Dame Louise is replaced as Governor General by Dr Sir Rodney Williams, sworn in Thursday morning.

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PM Rejects honours

From The Daily Observer

The honours conferred on 19 citizens by outgoing Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack, in the final hours of her tenure, will be voided Prime Minister Gaston Browne said, Friday.

Browne said the last minute appointments by the governor general was outside the confines of the National Honours Act, 1998.

“We have absolutely no choice but to revoke all, and I want to emphasize all, of those appointments,” Browne said. “How can you decide to honour someone based on the fact that they work for you? These are about outstanding citizens, not about mediocrity… and I am saying that she acted outside of the confines of the law.”

Prime Minister Browne has announced his intention to write to Governor General Dr Rodney Williams to void the nominations.

Browne said the former GG made the appointments “in bad faith” and “diminished the value” of the national awards.

Browne said that an end must be put to the practice of governors general to avoid future abuse.

“We cannot allow that precedence to stand because it will provide some other governor general in the future to do likewise. In fact, that person may not do nine, they may do 90,” he said.

The prime minister said while there are some individuals that satisfy the requirements for a national award, and will be referred to the awards committee at a later date, he took specific issue with Dame Louise’s decision to honour her own son.

“When the governor general, for instance, could knight her son, who has never ever made any substantial contribution whatsoever to this country…” he charged. “In fact, I am not aware that he made any substantial contribution to the country in which he was born. So how can you, just based on blood relations, knight someone?” Browne queried.

The new knights, who will all bear the title “Sir,” are owner of Harney Motors Ewart Harney; businessman and former APUA Chairman Clarvis Joseph; Former High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Carl Roberts; Founder of Kennedy’s Club Glasford Francis and Attorney Jeffery Tack.

Ombudsman Eusalyn Samuel-Lewis; Former President of the Senate Hazlyn Francis; and former Speaker of the House D Gisele Isaac, and Chancellor of Government House, Valerie Smith are all now Dames.

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