PM alleges public servants were pressured to make diplomatic appointments

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has alleged that members of a previous administration had, after the general election of 2014, lobbied senior public servants to make diplomatic appointments and issue diplomatic passports “behind our back”.
“We had a situation where members of the former administration were literally calling and getting public servants to execute diplomatic appointments… There were members on the other side…who were lobbying permanent secretaries,” Browne declared.
He also alleged that upon entering office he discovered instances where diplomatic passports were promised to individuals in exchange for money.
“One of them was so brazen – a gentleman by the name of Dalvo – he gave us hell. He stayed at Blue Waters Hotel for 30 days and said that he wasn’t leaving until he got his diplomatic passport because he paid for it,” Browne said.
The prime minister said there were several individuals who came to the government after the 2014 election with letters of appointment signed by the former prime minister appointing them to diplomatic offices.
His declarations, made in Parliament, came as the government of Antigua & Barbuda and its counterparts in the region are coming under increased pressure to be more transparent with the appointment of diplomats and the issuing of diplomatic passports.

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