Antigua and Barbuda
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Decades-Old Gazette Enters the debate Over Governor General’s Power to Initiate Inquiry Without Cabinet Advice

Historical records spanning several decades reveal that Commissions of Inquiry have consistently been established based on the recommendations provided by the cabinet.

As evidenced by the May 1990 entries in the Extraordinary and Official Gazettes of Antigua and Barbuda, the then Governor General had expressed intentions to initiate a public inquiry by means of a commission.

This particular inquiry aimed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the transit of arms through Antigua, originating from Israel and destined for Panama and/or Colombia.

According to the aforementioned Gazette entries, the Governor General’s decision to establish the Commission of Inquiry was in line with the guidance provided by the cabinet.

Presently, there is a contentious debate surrounding the authority of the Governor General to initiate a Commission of Inquiry without the advice of the cabinet.

Governor General Sir Rodney Williams has sought two legal opinions, both of which have advised against launching a public inquiry without the cabinet’s advice.

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Nevertheless, the opposition United Progressive Party is insisting that he convene an inquiry into what they refer to as the “Antigua Airways/migrant-smuggling scandal.”

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