NDP boycotts Parliament again
November 19, 2004
NDP boycotts Parliament again

Members of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) boycotted Parliament and joined placard-bearing supporters outside the House of Assembly Tuesday, chanting anti-government slogans as they continued their call for government minister Julian Francis to resign over allegations of corruption and nepotism. {{more}}

Tuesday’s boycott was the second straight in a month as the Opposition party pressed demands for the controversial Cross Country Road project to be stopped in the absence of an Environmental Impact Study. The party is also agonising over the Rose Hall/Troumaca road rehabilitation project which has been sub-contracted to Franco Construction, a company owned by the family of Government Minister, Julian Francis.

The NDP has alleged that such sub-contracting of the six million dollar project to a company owned by the family of a government minister who has responsibility for that project, reeked of nepotism and corruption.

But, while the NDP members and supporters are adamant that “Julian must go!”, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is equally adamant that his administration will not bow to the NDP pressure.

When Taiwan’s Ambassador Elizabeth Chu presented a cheque for US$2.72M to him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade conference room on November 5, for the first phase of the construction of the Cross Country Road, Dr. Gonsalves said, “no amount of marching, lighting of candles and singing of sankies by a minority rump,” would stop his administration from carrying out its mandate. At Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, he further stated that the only ways minister Francis would go was either if he decides to resign or if he (Dr. Gonsalves) tells him to resign. He added that had not told him that he wanted to resign and he was not going to ask him to resign.