On 18th May, 2011, two press releases emanating from CUOPM, one captioned “Statement that crime is being ‘supported by people in politics’ concerns PM Douglas” and the other “PM Douglas vows to stamp out use and abuse of marijuana” were disseminated to the media and the public. Copies of the same are posted below.
The first press release concludes with the words, “Dr. Douglas recently disclosed that former Minister of National Security Mr. Dwyer Astaphan had brought to the Cabinet draft legislation to legalise marijuana” while latter concluded with the words, “Dr. Douglas recently disclosed that former Minister of National Security Mr. Astaphan had brought to the Cabinet draft legislation to legalise marijuana.”
In response to the press releases, Astaphan spoke with MiyVue.com, and posed a number of questions to Dr. Douglas and described this as evidence that he (Dr. Douglas) is desperate to hold on to the reins of power.
“What I want to ask Dr. Douglas is this, when did I bring draft legislation to the cabinet to legalise marijuana? Who drafted the draft legislation? And would he be so kind as to publish the draft legislation that he said I brought to the Cabinet to legalise marijuana. Clearly, the press release is intended to paint me in a negative light, clearly a sign of deep desperation by Dr. Douglas and those who would prop him up in the false mansion that he presently occupies as leader of the party and of the country.”
In posing further questions, Astaphan says he fails to see the connection between him and the topics of the press release expect that it is an attempt by the Prime Minister to taint his name.
“What is the connection with me and any allegation made by a caller to ASK the PM that had heard that crime is being supported by people in politics to disrupt the country? What is the connection between that and me? If he knows something, he should prosecute me. He is the head of the government and he is not unwilling to prosecute people if that is what he thinks he wants to do. What is the connection between the last sentence in that press release and the body of the press release itself, other than to connect me to something illegal in that press release and also to connect me to something illegal in another press release?”
Prime Minister Douglas’ time, as expressed by Astaphan, would be better spent – among other things – cleaning up the high debt under which the Federation currently sits.
“Instead of trying to help get us out of this hellish debt that he has put us in, instead of trying to pass the integrity in public life legislation and run and clean and efficient government, he is wasting his time and the government’s time and indeed the communications apparatus of the government on personal and party politics. This is a very very bad sign and he needs to know as do his spin doctors that any unwarranted attack or any offside words or conduct on his behalf will not go unanswered. He needs to understand that.”
While he has not indicated specifically what action he is going to take in response to the release of these press releases, Astaphan told MiyVue.com, he has or will be consulting with his lawyers.
“It is very clear what they are trying to do and they will have to answer for that. We will see how they will have to answer for that but we all have to answer. That is one of the fundamentals of life…I rule out nothing, everything is on the table. I consult my attorneys when it comes to these things. They don’t have any evidence of anything that I am doing that is illegal so they want to try to – if you will – nasty me up in this very undignified way and abusing the information machinery of the government to do so. This is an abuse, an outrageous abuse of the government’s resources. Because the government resources do not belong to Dr. Douglas, they do not belong to the party which he leads. They belong to all of the people of the country.”