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Feb 17, 2020

PM Barrow Unleashes on the Leader of the Opposition

Reeling from the Saldivar scandal, PM Barrow has unleashed on the leader of the Opposition in a lengthy and stinging letter, calling John Briceño and the P.U.P. the most outrageous hypocrites and frauds ever known in modern politics and the governance of our country. At the core of Barrow’s anger is Briceño’s letter on the recent ruling about by the Supreme Court in which the PM was found to have acted unconstitutional, as well as other issues.  On the matter of supplementary appropriations, which was a case taken to court, Barrow says the supplementary appropriations were fully debated and overwhelmingly approved by parliament during the P.U.P. Administration. According to Barrow, all U.D.P. and P.U.P.-sponsored supplementary appropriations were done at a time when both parties were certain that the Constitution expressly permitted prior spending and subsequent Parliamentary approval. Barrow also rants about the PetroCaribe issue raised by Briceño, saying it drives a further nail in the coffin of Briceño’s disingenuousness.  Barrow recalls that when the U.D.P. passed the PetroCaribe Loans Act, he sought leave so that the amount being borrowed on a continuous basis under the Venezuela programme could never be known beforehand, and so could not command prior approval.  The PM says that he also kept the House updated on what was spent. Barrow states, “As I went through your letter and its tissue of transparent innuendos and falsehoods, its whited sepulcher nature, I was especially struck by something. And it is the unfathomable effrontery and gall of your sending your jeremiad to the International Financial Institutions.” Barrow says that because of the P.U.P.’s serial misdeeds and utter lack of transparency and accountability regarding World Bank funds, it was his administration that restored lending with the bank.  As to the court ruling, the PM states that his government considers the Chief Justice’s ruling entirely unsatisfactory and says it will be appealed even though government’s attorneys admitted the spending was unconstitutional.  In respect of the six-month suspension of his injunction, he says the government won’t be seeking any Constitutional amendment any time soon so any conditions for support, is a charade so that Briceño is on a fool’s errand. Barrow ends by taking on the issue of contracts saying they went to the Solicitor General.

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