PM distances his government from minister at the centre of rape allegations

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has sought to distance his administration from a Cabinet minister, amid claims of the person being accused of rape.

“What I’ll say at this point, I have not been able to verify the veracity of the claim, but if indeed it’s a serious issue and it’s before the Crime Unit, then clearly, the Minister involved knows exactly what to do,” Prime Minister Browne said on his weekend radio programme.

“The Minister would be aware of the governance framework of my administration. Where you have such allegations and there is an active investigation, then the minister has no other option but to resign, pending the result of the investigation.

“That is standard governance practice. So I just want to make that abundantly clear that that is my position on that matter. Clearly I do not have the details and I’m not in a position to say anything further on the matter,” Browne told radio listeners.

The police have not made any public statement on the issue, but on Monday, the online publication, Antigua News Room (ANR) reported that it “can now confirm that the member of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s Cabinet who has been accused of rape is likely to be picked up by members of the Crime Unit today.

“ANR can also confirm that the report was filed by a woman. The document is eight pages long,” it said, adding that the police want to question the minister about the allegations.

Today is a public holiday here as Antigua and Barbuda celebrates its 39th anniversary of political independence from Britain.


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