St. John’s Antigua- Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, late Thursday, dismissed the threat of a vote of no confidence against him and reaffirmed his government’s view that the Chinese-funded power plant at Crabbes is new.
“We have to be fighting all these legal battles on the basis of what the wretched ALP would have done to this country and now they coming to us about vote of no confidence,” Spencer, leader of the governing United Progressive Party (UPP), told party supporters.
“Who the devil are they to be even raising any of these questions with the kind of history that they have?” the UPP leader added.
Opposition leader and head of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) Lester Bird has threatened to bring the motion to the next sitting of Parliament.
The ALP has expressed confidence that the move to remove their political rival from the ranks of leadership could work if some UPP parliamentarians defect.
The no confidence motion addresses the alleged shortcomings related to the Wadadli Power Plant. It also alleges unlawful changes to the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act as well as the removal of members from the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), and the fencing scandal.
Addressing the supporters at the UPP’s first rally for 2012, Spencer also touched on another topical issue – the Wadadli Power Plant.
He said, “as far as I am concerned, the plant is there. The plant is new, it is ours and it is working for us.”
Spencer said he does not want to see a situation again in the country where the generation of electricity goes back into private hands.
“Never again would anybody be given this opportunity to look at this government and tell them they keeping this country in darkness for nearly three weeks,” he added.
For several weeks, the protestors have been calling on government to release the statements of agreement it signed with EXIM Bank of China to deliver the multi-million dollar plant, its equipment and the substation that was provided at an additional cost.
The deal was sealed in March 2008; the plant was commissioned last September and to date, the details have not been put before Parliament.
As the issues of the power plant and vote of no confidence remain talking points in Antigua & Barbuda, the country’s leader has called on supporters to continue supporting the party.
“We want you to gird your lions and join the battle that is ahead,” he said.