August 26, 2011
PM backs Beache, says he should not resign

The Prime Minister is lending his full support to Glen Beache, chief executive officer of the Tourism Authority, in the face of the Opposition’s call for him to resign.{{more}}

At a press conference on Monday, August 22, PM Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that neither the alleged discrepancy regarding money paid for the production of local soca artiste Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle’s music video nor Beache’s presumed conflict of interest in setting up his own company while he was the Minister of Tourism are grounds for his resignation.

“Resign for what?” questioned Gonsalves.

“Because he mistakenly said… in his repeating Eustace, that it is 75 [thousand dollars] and it turned out to be 40 [thousand dollars]?”

In regard to Beache’s company, the prime minister added: “The most you can say, well it raised a presumption of a conflict of interest, but when you get to know the facts, the presumption is rebutted!”

Gonsalves pointed out that Minister of Tourism Saboto Caesar presented a bill in Parliament for the money paid for the Skinny Fabulous video; and challenged the media to go to the Ministry to request a copy of said bill to see for themselves.

He acknowledged that Beache had admitted that he made a mistake in relaying the sum paid, but countered that by saying: “Not everybody has numbers in their head like some of us, you know… He must resign on that account?”

Gonsalves added: “Was Skinny Fabulous paid more than US$15,000? The answer is no… Please tell me the issue?”

Gonsalves likened the wrongs that a person might commit in office to the Roman Catholic ideology of sins being divided into two categories – mortal and penal.

He said that while some wrongs require an apology, there are others which are “resignation offences”.

“Not every single wrong that a person commits or is alleged to have committed, that is a hanging offence,” he asserted.

Gonsalves warned the Opposition and the media about trying to “destroy” young professionals on the “flimsiest of allegations”.

“I don’t support that!” he admonished.

He also asked the media to challenge Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace to produce evidence of his claims against Beache.

“He [Eustace] has a stubborness in relation to clinging to untruths or matters which have clearly been proven to be wrong!”(JV)