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May 6, 2015

Did PM Barrow Lie About Churches’ Vote on Petrocaribe Bill?

Francis Fonseca

The Churches voted NO in the Senate when the Petrocaribe Bill was presented at the end of March. But at a press conference recently, the Prime Minister claimed that Senator Father Noel Leslie did so without the approval of the Church and without any prior discussion. To support that assertion, the Prime Minister revealed that he has been approached to build an Ecumenical Chapel on the grounds of the K.H.M.H., and it will be done out of Petrocaribe funds. Today P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca says that as far as he is concerned, the Prime Minister was not being truthful.

 

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“That’s typical Dean Barrow. He attacks…even Senator Father Noel Leslie does not escape his wrath and venom when you don’t toe his line. My understanding is quite the contrary, that in fact Father Leslie…they did have a discussion on this matter, the Council of Churches, and that he voted no on the basis of that discussion. I don’t know whether specific individuals voiced their views. I can’t go into the specifics of that discussion but my understanding is that he voted no on the basis of that discussion. This very morning I heard Canon Leroy Flowers confirm his support for the vote taken by Father Noel Leslie on behalf of the Council of Churches. So you know I think it is disgraceful when our Prime Minister seeks to attack individuals and even attacks the Church when they are not toeing his line and doing what he wants them to be doing.”

 

Where the proposed Ecumenical Chapel on the K.H.M.H. grounds is concerned, Fonseca has no fundamental problem with it, stating that they are not against the Petrocaribe project, but against the lack of accountability and the fact that the Prime Minister has sole control over how and where that money will be spent, with no accountability or oversight.

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