UPP protest Budget

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While the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the prime minister chided the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) within the walls of the Parliament, the party and its supporters protested the 2017 Budget presentation, outside.
UPP supporters and party officials, who gathered in front of the Parliament building, as early as 7 am, waved placards and donned party branded clothing as they picketed.
The protest nearly turned ugly when protestor and the lawmen clashed at the start of the picket.
Based on reports from UPP Chairman, D Gisele Isaac, an officer asked the protestors to leave the area.
“They didn’t want us to be here. The police came and said we shouldn’t be here, but we are here so we have made an impact,” she added.
She told OBSERVER media that the matter was resolved after Superintendent of Police Nuffield Burnette, who was in charge of police’s operation at parliament, intervened.
Burnette, who was unable to identify the officer who had initially told the picketers to leave the area, told this media house, “I came and met them at a location and based on my understanding of the law I am satisfied that where the persons were and where they still are (across the street from Parliament) is very much within the law.”
Leader of the Opposition, Baldwin Spencer said the picket was organized because the party is “concerned with the lack of transparency and accountability” of the government.
He said the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) led administration has also not responded to the issues that the UPP has raised adequately.
“We felt it was important for us to make a statement today,” he added.
Spencer dismissed the Budget presentation as mere “regurgitation” and accused the government of providing a “blown up and inaccurate account” of the nation’s financial state.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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