UPDATE-ANTIGUA-Agriculture Minister fired.


Prime Minister Gaston Browne Monday said he had dismissed his agriculture minister Dean Jonas after indicating that he had for more than six months sought to dissuade the former cabinet minister 'from taking decisions that are inimical to good governance'.

Browne wrote to Governor General Rodney Williams on Monday advising him 'to terminate the duties and responsibilities' of Jonas, with immediate effect.

The move followed a meeting earlier on Monday between Browne and several workers from the Ministry of Agriculture.

In a separate letter to the former minister, Browne informed the parliamentary representative of St.

George's constituency, that 'for more than six months, I have tried to dissuade you from taking decisions that are inimical to good governance, and to my government's policy.

'My attempts have been in vain. Your relationship with your staff in the Ministry is toxic, and a continuous decline is evident from the reports that have reached me. The relationship with the farmers is also toxic and deteriorating further,' Browne wrote.

He said on the basis of the inabilities of the former minister 'to develop a good working relationship with his staff and with farmers it has become necessary to provide the representative with a six-month period for reflection and contemplation as to how to achieve reconciliation'.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said under Section 71(1) of the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution, Prime Minister Gaston 'is authorized to select or to terminate members of Cabinet'.

Last weekend, Browne speaking on a radio programme here, said he was putting Jonas 'under public notice that he either shape up or ship out' following public accusations that Jonas, had not met the goals in the ministry since his appointment one and half...

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