Picket planned for Parliament

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The United Progressive Party will be mounting a protest outside of Parliament today as the Gaston Browne-led administration gets set to repeal the Barbuda Land Act.
Harold Lovell, the political leader of the UPP, told OBSERVER media that his party and the people of Barbuda remain opposed to the change in the law that will remove communal ownership of land, thus, allowing Barbudans to own title deeds for lands that they occupy.
Lovell added that the UPP would be picketing in support of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) to mark its disagreement with the way in which the government is choosing to proceed.
“This is a matter that needs proper discussion; it needs the careful foresight of a government that understands the implication of what it’s doing. This will not work. The prime minister is being foolhardy and the government is being despotic,” he said.
Lovell maintained that the government is ill-advised, given the communal arrangement Barbudans have enjoyed for centuries.
Meanwhile, a planned meeting between Prime Minister Gaston Browne and members of the Barbuda Council did not happen yesterday, after opposition members opted not to attend.
The meeting was planned to discuss the government’s decision to repeal the Act in Parliament today.
In a letter to the prime minister, Trevor Walker, Member of Parliament for Barbuda, suggested that Monday’s meeting would be an exercise in futility.
The newly-elected MP requested that the prime minister halt the repeal and set a new date for the meeting to take place.
Walker believes that a future date would allow all parties involved to be better prepared to discuss the matter.
“I would be unable to attend this meeting on such short notice.  Further, our discussions would be futile given that parliament is scheduled to meet the following day to strip Barbudans of their communal land rights which they have practised for over 300 years,” Walker wrote on April 21 in response to Browne’s April 18 communication.
Browne told OBSERVER media that the repeal of the Barbuda Land Act will go ahead as planned.
He accused the opposition members of the Barbuda Council of being troublemakers.

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