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Antigua: PM justifies Dean Jonas’ reinstatement to Cabinet

Following the reinstatement of the Member of Parliament (MP) for St George as a Cabinet minister last week, the public has been questioning what prompted the decision since the matter  of another embattled MP remains unresolved.

 Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), D Gisele Isaac publicly voiced her thoughts on the motives of the Gaston Browne-led administration to reinstate Dean Jonas, but not the St Peter MP, Asot Michael.

“Here you have an MP whose tenure in the House goes back way beyond Dean Jonas’s, and who was questioned in the UK. He was not arrested. He was not charged, and on the trend of being questioned, you defrock him and here you have another MP accused by you, the Prime Minister. You detailed the public of the sins that he is alleged to have committed — no inquiry, and if there’s an inquiry certainly no report. You said [Jonas] was gone for six months but six months has not been exhausted yet but you bring him back and MP Asot Michael is still out in the cold.

“How does anybody square that? How do the supporters of the Labour Party square that? How do the constituents of St Peter feel about the fact that this man who has represented them in government since eons ago, now can be left out while somebody who has been publicly shamed [and] castigated in the parliament even after he begged pardon, is back in?” Isaac queried.

Michael resigned from his portfolio as Tourism and Investment minister in 2018 after allegations surfaced that he was involved in a major bribery scandal in the UK. 

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