MP Pringle calls on PM Browne to come clean on alleged hefty commission for Alfa Nero sale

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

MP Pringle calls on PM Browne to come clean on alleged hefty commission for Alfa Nero sale

Minister of Finance Gaston Browne and the Members of Cabinet must come clean on the current negotiations regarding the sale of the Alfa Nero, says Jamale Pringle, Leader of the Opposition and Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

Reliable sources have alleged to Pringle that the “gag order” on discussions about the yacht sale is aimed at preventing leaks about a controversial commission fee to be paid to unidentified persons.

They claim the Administration is considering the payment of a commission fee that is higher than 50 percent of the expected US$50 million sale price in order to get the vessel off its hands.

MP Pringle says he is forced to believe these reports, given that Government Spokesperson Lionel “Max” Hurst has said that the public is to be kept out of the loop in order not to jeopardize the negotiations.

The Opposition Leader asserts that, since the acquisition of the vessel was public business, and the upkeep of the yacht and crew salaries are paid by the public purse, then the public – all taxpayers and voters – has the right to know.

Accordingly, in the interest of the public, whom the Browne Administration is duty-bound to serve and to keep informed, the Opposition Leader calls on Prime Minister Browne to remove the cloak of secrecy and silence that shrouds this transaction.

Since the people have been shouldering the financial burden of the vessel’s maintenance – and the millions in legal fees that continue to accumulate – the people do not deserve to be presented with a “done deal” that leaves them at a disadvantage, MP Pringle says.

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