Anguilla chief minister leads protest against governor
Residents have accused Governor William Alistair Harrison of abuse of power.
THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Wednesday December 14, 2011 – Dozens of residents led by Chief Minister Hubert Hughes took to the streets yesterday demanding that Britain immediately recall its governor to the island.
They have accused Governor William Alistair Harrison, appointed in 2009, of interfering with the judiciary, the Parliament, ministerial portfolios and transferring key permanent secretaries against the wishes of the government.
The protest came on the heels of the chief minister’s warning in a national address that this British Overseas Territory was under threat because the governor and his deputy were not consulting him on pertinent matters.
One of these included their decision to replace a veteran civil servant attached to his ministry with someone with no experience in finance.
The governor upheld that decision after the chief minister asked the UK Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham for it to be reviewed.
A petition presented yesterday to the governor stated, “We are the persons who will be ultimately affected and we believe this transfer should be revoked unconditionally.”
The chief minister vowed that “civil disobedience” would continue “until the British government gets the message.”
“We are talking about democracy. These are concerns of the people to a country who always preach democracy and fair play and they must listen. As small as we are we will make them listen,” he said following the protest.