Gaston Browne and the ABLP Administration were granted two terms by the people of Antigua and Barbuda, and it is election time, again. It is the end of the term and the marking period is here. Voters must look objectively at the performance of this Administration, during almost nine years in office.
A Government should be judged on its PERFORMANCE. Eight years ago, the ALP promised “More Jobs, More Investments and Less Taxes”. Has the ALP regime kept its major election promises?
Ushered into office having made grand promises to create an economic powerhouse. Gaston Browne touted a plan that would include mega investors, who would ensure that Antigua and Barbuda became the “Singapore of the Caribbean,” with the fastest growing economy.
His tenure began badly. Within 24 hours of being elected, he had signed an agreement with YIDA, about whose credibility the UPP had concerns.
“The UPP prides itself in doing proper due diligence on all investors, since, as our grandparents used to say, we believe in “take time and walk fast.” And it turns out that the UPP made the right call in moving cautiously with the YIDA deal. Because, here we are almost 9 years later, and YIDA has never gotten off the ground,” said UPP Political Leader, Harold Lovell.
But even if we accept that the Prime Minister erred in his pronouncements about YIDA, he continued to err, and has made over 30 more announcements of projects that have not panned out.
Gaston Browne will be remembered as a leader of headlines. There was hardly a week during the past eight years that the Gaston Browne Administration did not make a major announcement … with no delivery.
The recklessness continued to the point where even former Prime Minister Lester Bird warned Gaston Browne about announcing too many projects before establishing some type of track record and credibility. Sadly, from the grave, Sir Lester Bird’s words continue to resonate and reverberate.
So while Gaston Browne was given the mandate to create an economic powerhouse, he receives an “F” for his performance, since he can point to only one major investment in nearly nine years – the other viable ones having gone to other islands, as his own junior, Lennox Weston, has told the Nation.
And, yet, the Prime Minister’s pie-in-the-sky promises intensified recently, with the announcement of drones flying the skies and unmanned cars running the roads of Barbuda. This only shows that Gaston Browne is delusional – or indifferent to the real needs of the people.