Fates of Parker, Massiah still hang in the balance

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The fates of government senators Malaka Parker and David Massiah appear to still be up in the air, as fallout from the CIP mêlée drags into yet another week.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer’s address to the nation on Friday may have raised more questions than answers, as government chastised four wayward senators – Anthony Stuart, Colin Derrick, alongside Parker and Massiah – who he said “sided with the opposition” on the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) Bill.

Spencer described the senators’ actions as a “fundamental break with government’s policy.”

The move, he said “killed the Bill,” and reports indicate it cannot be reintroduced in the Lower House in the current session, slowing government’s steady pace towards the collection of US $32 million it had anticipated collecting from CIP this year.

It was previously reported that Stuart and Derrick would be given their walking papers and Parker and Massiah would live to fight another day.

However, OBSERVER media understands the appointments of Massiah and Parker are still hanging in the balance – with a definitive answer yet to be decided upon.

Parker tendered her senatorial resignation to the prime minister last Thursday. The nation heard, for the first time during Spencer’s national address on state media, that Massiah too, had offered his resignation.

The prime minister made no mention as to whether he accepted either resignation, but labelled the reported resignations and subsequent apologies as “laudable.”

In a curious twist, however, reports reaching OBSERVER media indicate that Massiah, in fact, has not resigned.

When contacted yesterday morning, Massiah was boarding a flight and said he would respond when he returned.

Parker reserved her comments on the matter for a later date, saying, “I will speak to the public at the appropriate time.”

To date, what is certain is Spencer has only voiced his clear intent to give orders to Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack to revoke the instruments of appointment of Stuart and Derrick.

He noted he had not heard from either senator since the February 13 Senate debacle that instigated the current firestorm.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)