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Jun 25, 1999

Barrow objects to Rodriguez appointment

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As expected, the United Democratic Party voiced their objection to the appointment. Leader Dean Barrow says he was never consulted during the selection process, and that Paul Rodriguez is so well known as a P.U.P. supporter that the public will never get the impartial investigator they deserve with him in office.

Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, U.D.P.

“With respect to Mr. Rodriguez becoming the Ombudsman, which as the Prime Minister says, is known to be a historic appointment and known to be an office that if properly worked can contribute immeasurable to our democracy. There is no room for mutual back slapping or any place of the personal friendship that might exist between the Prime Minister and Mr. Rodriguez.”

But while Dean Barrow says it would have been better not to have any Ombudsman at all than to have Paul Rodriguez, the Prime Minister says Rodriguez is perfectly capable of separating his personal politics from the requirements of the job.

Said Musa, Prime Minister

“What the member fails to realize is that once a person is clothed with the authority that the law gives him, once he is provided with the independence that the law gives him as this law does provide to the Ombudsman he becomes a different person right away, especially if he is a person of integrity. They have not questioned the fact that Paul Rodriguez is a man of integrity, that he is a man of honesty.” (clapping)

Despite a loud “no” vote from the Opposition side of the House, Paul Rodriguez will be the new Ombudsman and former Speaker of the House R.C. Swift will be the Contractor General. Barrow also opposed Swift’s appointment on political grounds and claimed that it was too late since quote, “it appears all the contracts have already been given out to government cronies”.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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