St. John’s Antigua- Antigua Labour Party (ALP) MP Molwyn Joseph has chided the government for what he described as “wantonly and callously” breaking the law.
The MP claims that, since election in 2004, the UPP regime has consistently breached legislation, particularly the Freedom of Information Act (2004).
Joseph was criticising the Prime Minister’s recent nomination of Alister Thomas as Information Commissioner – a move he claims contravenes the act.
He argues that Thomas is a founder and an officer of a political organisation, the National Movement for Change, and is a known political activist, and that this makes him ineligible for the position.
Joseph maintains that his objection is based solely on the premise that laws need to be followed.
“In my estimation and the support of the many people who looked at the law, there was a serious breach of the law and the act clearly states that a person shall not be qualified to hold office as Commissioner if that person holds office in, or is an employee of a political party or is a political activist,” Joseph stressed.
The ALP parliamentarian continued that Thomas has always presented himself as a member of a political organisation he co-founded, as well as a proud political activist.
The St Mary’s North MP said it was also inappropriate and ill-advised of the prime minister to speak on behalf of the nominee in terms of his current political activism or his status in his political party, in light of the fact that he has not publicly declared his position as it relates to the political party which he founded.
He says parliamentarians should uphold the laws, not break them.
“We go to parliament, we are elected to make laws and by all means we should do everything in our power to ensure that we respect the laws of Antigua & Barbuda,” Joseph concluded.
Thomas is set to take up the post of Information Commissioner on August 15.