The Antigua Labour Party (ALP) has threatened to put pressure on government until it collapses if the dispute between Antigua Power Company (APC) and state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) plunges residents into darkness for prolonged periods.
The party’s leader Lester Bird issued the warning in an exclusive interview with OBSERVER Media, shortly after APUA issued a statement to explain why electricity went off in several areas beginning yesterday morning.
Speaking at the White March organized to protest a number of other issues, Bird said, “I am concerned about the effect it is going to have on the people. We should have another march on Saturday and another march on Monday and keep marching until the government either collapses or find the money to pay.”
APUA owes APC close to $37 million for the power supply provided and the debt dates back several years.
Although a judge ordered the state-owned entity to make good on its debts and to remain current with payment for continued services from APC, that order has not been obeyed.
It has impacted APC’s ability to meet its financial obligations and on October 12, APC gave APUA an ultimatum to pay up by yesterday otherwise it would pull cease to provide the 61 per cent power supply it usually gives to the state.
The dispute forced an emergency cabinet meeting in which it was concluded that a solution, favourable to both companies, would be arrived at by early next week.
He said the party would continue to monitor the situation as some residents had already experienced power cuts beginning early yesterday and up to late in the afternoon.
Bird said the government “has been allowed to get away with too much” and the time is nigh for “ the people should put some serious pressure on the government.”