John wants office for Leader of the Opposition; Astaphan agrees only in principle

John (left), Astaphan

Leader of the Opposition, Hector John has called on the Government of Dominica to make an office available to serve the needs of the office he currently occupies.

“Give the leader of the opposition an office so that he can make a meaningful contribution to national development,” John said in an interview with Dominica News Online (DNO), pointing to the fact that the Government of Dominica is one of the last Caribbean governments that remains reluctant to do so.

But in response Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan said in principle he has no problem with an office for the Leader of the Opposition. “But if the Opposition Leader wants to play politics with his office and continues to boycott parliament, I see no reason why the state should waste tax payers money,” Astaphan told DNO.  “It’s as simple as that.”

In the interview with DNO John complained of having to attend to foreign diplomats as well as Dominican citizens at the office of the United Workers Party (UWP). He further stated that some people, including Ministers of Government, who would have otherwise had meetings with him to discuss matters of state, are hesitant to do so out of fear of being seen heading to, or coming from the UWP office.

According to John, the Government has set aside a budget of $2,000 per month, per constituency office in Dominica – a total of 21 offices. He said the total yearly budget for maintenance of these offices is $504,000.

“Why should an office not be made available for the Leader of the Opposition, regardless of which party he belongs to, when most of the parliamentary representatives are being given offices when most also hold ministries?” he asked.

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72 Comments

  1. Charlo
    May 11, 2011

    Dear Johnny you are criticising the wrong people for the wrong reason when it come to having an office, if you are so desperate to have an office why don’t you have the courage to ask your front man Jerry Brisbane for more office space he should definitely be able to accommodate you with this small request, as leader of the opposition haven’t you got more pressing issues example ask the Prime Minister why is the aggregate/sand being exported from our country, that same materials is good road building materials yet our roads have some many potholes, so stop whingeing about trivial things, yet again you may even boycott that office if you were ordered to do so by the remaining Musketeers!

  2. may
    May 10, 2011

    MR. JOHN WANTS AN OFFICE TO START WORKING ON HIS MANIFESTO FOR NEXT ELECTION.
    IN ORDER TO DO SO HE WANTS HIS PRIVACY. THIS GUY IS REALLY IMPOSSIBLE HE KEPT
    BOYCOTTING PARLIMENT AND HAVE THE NERVE ASKING FOR OFFICE

  3. what is tony scared of????
    May 10, 2011

    Is he scared of the oposition being organised to expose his clients?
    LOL
    Sounds like the regional news getting them scared and nervous
    2011-05-08 12:15:46

    MIAMI, CMC – The head of the US Southern Command here has identified transnational criminal organisations as the greatest threat to security in the region.

    Speaking at a conference on security at the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy, General Douglas Fraser said besides drug trafficking, criminal gangs in the region are also involved in arms smuggling, people smuggling and bulk cash flows across borders.

    “The traffickers are well-financed and very capable,” he said.

    Fraser also stated that the Southern Command has been focusing on detecting and monitoring the transport of drugs in the Caribbean and also on how best to support its regional military partners who have been pulled into the fight against the drug cartels.

    “This is a long fight; it will not be a two or three-year fight,” he added.

    Beyond security, he said, violence also is negatively impacting the economic growth of the region.

    The cost of fighting the drug traffickers and economic disruptions, he said, is essentially “a tax on society”.

    While an estimated 35,000 deaths have been attributed to criminal gang-related violence in Mexico alone over the past five years, Fraser noted that there have been 67,000 homicides in Central America, which he has called the “deadliest zone in the world’’ outside Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “A drug-trafficking tsunami has befallen the region,’’ said Kevin Casas-Zamora, former vice president of Costa Rica and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican ambassador to the United States, said Central America and the Caribbean have increasingly become the “springboards” for entry of Andean cocaine into the United States as a result of US and Mexican efforts to stem the flow of cocaine traffic through traditional Mexican land routes.

    “We have to provide a holistic approach to combating drug flows in the region,” he said.

    “Otherwise trafficking will simply spread from one country to another.”

    Casas-Zamora said greater help is needed from the US on counter-narcotics efforts in the region, as well as more serious discussion in Washington on how to deal with narco-trafficking.

    “Beneath organized crime lie very basic and unmet development challenges,” he said.

  4. knowledgeable
    May 10, 2011

    John wants office to do the wortk of a parliament he has not attended or despise

  5. Michael
    May 10, 2011

    It seems Tony is the defacto ruler of Dominica. He decides which cases go to the Court, what action the Attorney General can take or cannot take, what Rossevelt Skeritt responds to, who, what and when the Police can investigate, whether the Leader of the Oppostion should be given an office paid by the taxpyers (not Tony), is free to change his position on the same questions without any pubic shame, etc, etc.

    Dominica is really a bankrupt place!

  6. luclu
    May 10, 2011

    “Give the leader of the opposition an office so that he can make a meaningful contribution to national development,” Go to parliament and make your active contributions there!!

    • bandolieeeeeeeeeeeee
      May 10, 2011

      jon,i find you are to silly.why would you wants the government to buold office for the opposition wen they dont come to parliment?you are too maroon for my liking.go do what the people elect all you to do and then ask for office,but untill then stay where you all are. YOUR BIG JOKER.

  7. Heck who?
    May 10, 2011

    Who is Hector John exactly?
    Insignificant!!

    • Tony Who?
      May 10, 2011

      Who the Tony Astaphan exactly???
      Very insignificant. Who the hell voted for this guy?

  8. Hey Hey
    May 10, 2011

    Hey, but I can’t see with some of all you!! Lennox, Angelo and Matt them running their mouths day in day out on all sorts of topics, YET is Tony all you want to attack each time the man open his mouth? Just give the man a break!! He is a diminican too (even if you may not like what he is saying). The same democratic right that you blue mealybugs have to express yourselves, he has that too!!

    • he he
      May 10, 2011

      “he is a diminican” vrai. he he he

  9. READER
    May 10, 2011

    I LOVE DNO…. especially since it showcases all the dumba***s, smart a***s and just plain a****s. My gosh… you’d think that there were no smart people by the way these comments display a lack of reason, logic and understanding. Afterall… who is TONY… well, people, he is the man whom DNO sought a response from. Obviously, if DNO wanted a response from the PM or other members of parliament/ govt, they could have gotten one and published it. If DNO wanted the opinion of it’s readers, it could have had a poll!

    But no, DNO choose a figure who would be guaranteed to provide a voice, one which most people will find controversial and thus post many comments towards the article.

    So instead of sitting behind the pcs and getting all worked up about whether Tony is PM, minister or the likes, why not consider the real issue…should the Opposition have a new office or should they go work? I’ve never heard complaints of there not being an office before, so it must be a new development that the CHINESE money may need to finance…

    So, the real question should perhaps be – should the CHINESE finance a new office for the Oppositon?

  10. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011

    I find it funny how hese guys pressure the gov about wasting money, yet they want to waste some themselves. Why did they not create office for opposition when they were in office?

    I am all for the opposition getting an office too. But if you do not attend parliament what exactly is the office for?

  11. Eyes Wide Open
    May 10, 2011

    To be honest Hector, I think you need to wheel and come again. This leader of the opposition role isnt for you. You need to give that up and go back to the drawing board. Take few classes in diplomacy, politics etc… Just because you are popular doesn’t mean you are fir to lead. We claim of lack of funds in the countray blah bal blah, yet you want government to spend additional money to give you an office to do what ??? You don’t attend parliament, you haven’t activated the public accounts committee which you are the chairman of, what exactly do you really do Hector but complain complain. You know I don’t approve of all the corruption of this government, but we are tired of hearing about it from you. Why don’t you start putting plans and policies in place, start strengthening your party, put people to work on the ground, fin out what the people really want, what really matters to the everyday man and start putting policies in place to address these issues. Last elections caught you guys off guard, don’t let the other one do the same. Fisrt things first, put Mr. James back as leader of the opposition for he is the only one for now, among all of you I see is competent enough to hold that role. Two, invest in other young people that could be the next parl reps, send them to get some experience training in diplomacy, politics, management etc.., you have to start grooming them from now. You know a lot of Dominicans voted back labour because they couldn’t find a better alternative… And while you are at it, get some training from Mrs. Judith Pestaina. This woman among all three parties, is the best politician in my opinion, it’s just a pity the freedom party is not a rivived as it used to be.

  12. zuma
    May 10, 2011

    Hector

    please permit me to voice my opinion

    you do not need an office to perform your political duties you can do this from the confines of your home or even from a restaurant for eg. .

    have yo not seen, most people today dont evwen use thier office any more to work from all they need is a laptop and a mobile phone and they are getting the job done

    get the picture

    prove yourself and all things will be added unto you

    Jesus christ did not need an office to convince his diciples

    • Sad
      May 10, 2011

      What crap is this. My god D/ca is just so covered by ignorance.

  13. sacafete
    May 10, 2011

    What constituency does Tony Astaphan represent? I don’t recall seeing his name on any ballot paper during the last election.

    This is nonesense. The man is not an elected official so why the hell he is opening his mouth and no elected official is making any comment. It reminds me of a puppet show where the PM is at the front and Tony is at the back moving its lips as if its the PM thats talking.

    I have traveled quite extensively and never seen such cocionee

  14. Wacky
    May 10, 2011

    who the HELLLL tony think he is….stupes!

  15. Reason
    May 10, 2011

    But there is an office room for the Leader of the Opposition upstairs the House of Assembly on High Street. I really do not see what the fuss is all about. It is there for Mr. John to use whenever he wants.

    There was a similar room next to the chamber used as the House of Assembly when it was located upstairs the Ministerial Building. When Miss Charles was in opposition she used to use it from time to time to meet dignitaries.

    It is like when Miss Charles (later Dame) was Leader of the Opposition and she took the role of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee seriously. This opposition has never activated the committee and it is there in the constitution to be put to active use. But all they do is run their mouth.

  16. observing
    May 10, 2011

    Are you kidding me? Why do you need an office if you’re not attending parliament? Oh I get it…so you can stay on facebook all day long…what a joke!!!

    • John Brown
      May 10, 2011

      @observing

      i like that

      • eureka
        May 10, 2011

        @ observing
        All he worth! D son of a gone! what a waste of opposition!

  17. ?????
    May 9, 2011

    Quitter Tony parler. Lennox ka parler aussi .. Quitter tout monde ki lay parler .. parler depuis yo paka parler baitees! LoL. Tony say un Dominichen aussi meme co Lennox say un Marigotian Dominichen! LOLOLOL

  18. girl
    May 9, 2011

    LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IS ASLEEP GIVING HIM AN OFFICE THAT MIGHT MAKE HIM
    SLEEP MORE

  19. lord protect us from prime minister tony.
    May 9, 2011

    all u greedy and foolish DOMINICANS is the little pocket change and candy u got for election
    that have alot of u all can’t pay u all bills today,can’t pay ur loans,ur cars are park by the banks
    the motor company lucking theres busies on u all,greeedy,the same busses that was campaigning for election,lol,no more boats they are in the banks crying,go to tony for ur morgage money the evil u all did for election prays god it living with u all,u all believe u would have time die,the lord say NO take some of the pain befor u die,wicked,greedy people,they was giving u young people sewo for so,now the same young people are postituting,selling drugs, stealing,and killing one another on the block,wake up ans smell the coffe u young people,because the jail is full of the same young people who was enjoying the sewo they was giving u all,has tony and company ever pass on the block and ask u all what u need,if u had anything to eat today,thanks god for ur mothers, ilve u all but it hurts to see u all defending people like tony.

  20. naturelover
    May 9, 2011

    His own words.$504000 spent on all parl reps constituency office yet want another set of $$$ on a L.O.OP office, so all of a sudden the economy not bad again?? ,,,never hear that Diplomats want to meet L.OOP,,YES I IS HE ON PLANET earth??

  21. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011

    Hector is not in parliament so he does not need an office. And tony need to stay out of that, ….tony know your place.

  22. Devoted Dominican.
    May 9, 2011

    JOHN,
    THE ONLY CONTRIBUTION THAT YOU GIVE TO DOMINICANS IS THE MANY OBSTRUCTIONS AND POISONOUS LIES WHICH YOU AND YOUR PARTY FEEDS TO THE PUBLIC AND THIS IS BY NO MEANS MEANINGFUL TO THE PROGRESS OF THE ISLAND. BUT AGAIN, THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENT BETWEEN WHICH WAY IS UP OR DOWN. FOR A PERSON WITHOUT A PROPER EDUCATION IS DOOMED AS A LEADER. SO IF YOU WANT AN OFFICE THIS BAD, WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE DUMB PEOPLE WHO ELECTED YOU TO OFFICE BUILT YOU ONE AND NOT ASK IT OF THE TAX PAYERS OF THE ISLAND.

  23. progress
    May 9, 2011

    Mr. John need to attend the house first before asking for an office. Currently, he is not serving the people.

    • Dominican to the bone
      May 9, 2011

      so true

    • DPM
      May 10, 2011

      Are the people only served if he attends parliament? Does he not serve them on the days when there is no House of Assembly? You guys make it sound like the only job of the opposition leader is to go to parliament.

  24. peaceful
    May 9, 2011

    is as taphan the PM of DA ?????????? what role skr. have ??? Is he are P P.

  25. v.g
    May 9, 2011

    john needs to go to the house before he can ask for an office.it’s only fair.

  26. sadist
    May 9, 2011

    GIVE TONY AN OFFICE TOO. LET US HEAR AND SEE JOHN’S REACTION.

  27. pat
    May 9, 2011

    IF MR. JOHN WANTS OFFICE FOR LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WHY ARE THEY KEPT
    BOYCOTTING PARLIMENT.

  28. Dominican in the BVI
    May 9, 2011

    this opposition not easy you know, these guys not representing the people that put them in office, getting a paid for nothing, and now they asking for an office? them boys keep boycotting the house , when’t on to form there own thing. and now they want office? well look thing. I know for sure if they were the leading party they would never do that for the DLP.

  29. Laypini
    May 9, 2011

    Most of u just run your vocal boxes,because u have breath.i agree with Both of them.an office,providing u attend parliament.and remember,TONY ASTAPHAN .DESPITE HIS PARENTS’ ORIGINE IS A DOMINICAN.MAYTAY SA EN PIPE OU ET FIMAY.SAK SOT

  30. Red-Antz
    May 9, 2011

    I disagree and the reason is simple, i have lived in and experienced the politics in countries where the opposition is financed by the government or the tax payers if u like. and what u have as an end result are politicians no longer in it for the benefit of their country or their constituents. It becomes a situation of “there is no need for me to perform at my functions as long as i am in opposition i have office and salary and i can care less about anything else”. So opposition becomes just another 9 – 5 or another money making scheme or another day at the office which provides very little input and in many instances to protect their pay and find favor with governmemnt, will go along with even the shadiest of government schemes (opposition can easily become compromised when money and office becomes a leading factor in their politics).

    I believe that a political party should be a well organized institution with the financial capabilities to cover it’s costs of operation more specifically the costs of it leader when carrying out his functions. The system in dominica has worked well in the past, with oppositions being more aggressive in addressing the issues at hand and making the necessary contribution with regards to nation building as well as keeping government in check (Freedom Party Opposition, Labour Party Opposition and the UWP Opposition once upon a time before political foolery and laziness became their political strategy).

    I believe that the lack of an office and the hope of one day being in government in order to hold an office and make a full and honest contribution to the task of nation building, is a factor that has kept only our most dedicated opposition parties working and what has kept lazy men who would have otherwise joined in solely for the financial benefits away from our political apparatus.

  31. queenie
    May 9, 2011

    astaphan gave john the correct answer…..i could not have said it better………….and neither could u……….

  32. tsk tsk
    May 9, 2011

    well the media has created a monster…i remember at one point when Matt Peltier use to go to Tony for a comment on everything too when he was at kairi…

    To me these stories carry very little credibility…this Tony responds to everything nonsense. Media houses should seriously shy away from this. Does nothing for whatever story it is you are publishing. It really just passes as a joke and an opportunity for comments to go back and forth.

    Unless of course DNO is more about eliciting comments and reaction rather than credible hard news.

  33. BALAWOO
    May 9, 2011

    Tax payers money should go to Tony only. For example tax dollars for investigation of UWP corruption and tax payers never got anything from that. Tax payer dollars should be spent on providing ill-conceived advice given to the PM only to come back and bill tax payers to defend the country against the very same bad advice he offered. Tax dollars should be spent on wasting resources in the ministry of legal affairs where employees are forced to take direction and commands from all different angles. Tax payers dollars should be spent on trips wherehe is representing the ministry of legal affairs?

  34. X-Factor
    May 9, 2011

    So you guys cannot realise that the media came to Tony and ask him his thoughts on the matter… then they published it on DNO… So don’t say that’s none of Tony’s business when he just gave DNO his opinion, who in return published it on their website for you smart people to comment on.. My GAD…

    • concern
      May 9, 2011

      I Tony is someone that is bringing the Govt and the Prime Minister’s office into disrepute but in this case I blame the Media Tony is not part of the Govt being a lawyer for them do not give the right to speak on their behalf everyone have their own belieft Tony is no different we just have to remember that he speaks for know one.

  35. TREVOR
    May 9, 2011

    TREVOR JOHNSON do you have a copy of the Tony and Crazy T argument- the one where crazy T call him out and Tony also referred to Timothy as crooked. If you do please post the clip on youtube. In the same clip Tony was asked about the Miaimi connection.

  36. Mary
    May 9, 2011

    But in response Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan said in principle he has no problem with an office for the Leader of the Opposition. “But if the Opposition Leader wants to play politics with his office and continues to boycott parliament, I see no reason why the state should waste tax payers money,” Astaphan told DNO. “It’s as simple as that.”

    Shut the ………………………..up Astaphans.

    • scrappy coco
      May 10, 2011

      tony is a happy man and he is not a beggar like matt lennox angello and you. tony is a big time money man and he we the labourites wants for our mouth piece

  37. American Dominican
    May 9, 2011

    This man called Tony Astaphan is a menace to the Dominican society. This man is respnsible for allthe ills within this Government.. Dominicans come on people put on your thinking caps.. OhGod hlep me country. What a shame and disgrace! Is this what Dominica has come to? Man I so vex I could burst! How will we get rid of this virus?

    • ...
      May 9, 2011

      WE prefer listen to the Senior Council everyday than Senior Dummy Lennox and Narrow-minded Angelo!!!!!

      • Most retarded driver of dominica
        May 10, 2011

        you not me!!!!! why? because you are an educated DUMMY!!

      • American Dominican
        May 10, 2011

        The MIS-Education of the negro!! You epitomize that well!! to the person who said that! “WE prefer listen to the Senior Council everyday than Senior Dummy Lennox and Narrow-minded Angelo!!!!!””

        Self hating, no self-esteem Negro, anything is better than a negro to you! Senior Council my foot!!

    • Foolishness
      May 9, 2011

      Advise why not “Dominican American”. You are Dominican first then you became a citizen of America.

      • Semantically Speaking!
        May 10, 2011

        Advice, Foolishness…..Advice is spelt wit a ‘c’ not an ‘s’!

  38. INTERPOL
    May 9, 2011

    is astaphan the prime minister of DOMINICA

  39. CARIBBEAN MAN
    May 9, 2011

    But in response Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan said in principle he has no problem with an office for the Leader of the Opposition. “But if the Opposition Leader wants to play politics with his office and continues to boycott parliament, I see no reason why the state should waste tax payers money,” Astaphan told DNO. “It’s as simple as that. Honestly I really would like to know what is Tony Astaphans role in the DLP,come on Mr PM get some order on Mr Astaphan this is beyond a joke now,you let him loose on the radio just digging himself in deep holes every time he opens his mouth and now this and even the Police he is given instructions. Again I ask what is Tony Astaphans role in the DLP.

    • ...
      May 9, 2011

      :?: :twisted:

      I find you people wierd, Tony is as Dominican as any one of us so it is the man DEMOCRATIC right to make his comment on issues of interest, so is Lennox and Angelo alone that have right to speak out then??

      If muzzling persons that have varying views from Lennox et al is all you idea of DEMOCRACY then all u better get tfo and leave us in our happy state!!!!!!!

    • Simon Templar
      May 9, 2011

      I disagree with you totally.

      Mr Astaphan comments must have been solicited and not exposed here like mine and yours.

      Mr. John was elected to serve Salisbury and he along with Edison James never showed up to the House to be sworn in. A bi-election had to be called ( A waste of Taxpayer Monies) and Mr John and James were victorious. They came to the HOA to be sworn in and have refused to part take in our governing affairs or respond to the petitions and motions especially in financial matters in the house.

      He has not missed a sitting or their “Peoples Parliament” to this date.

      Why should an office for Leader of the Opposition now be created?

      When Mr. Johns Party was in Power, you never heard Mr. Douglas complain of not having an office to meet with whomever he had to.

      This guy, Hector John is a lazy person.

      He has contributed not one thing to the development of Dominica.

      He is critical of every move the DLP makes yet he has offered up nothing.

      Were it not for the financial follies of Earl Williams, he’d be looking for a job right now.

      Amen

  40. Confused
    May 9, 2011

    Who elected Tony Astaphans and why has he become the face of the government. Somebody give the man a skirt and some pompoms because it seems he is senior cheerleader.

  41. .
    May 9, 2011

    but wait. there is no opposition so how can they want office

  42. Disappointed
    May 9, 2011

    My sentiments exactly, why does Mr. Astaphan feel the need to always meddle in the everything, this issues is not a legal matter…. mind your damn business and let the issues be discussed.

  43. Glen Beck
    May 9, 2011

    Hummmmm Tony dont want to waste his money i mean tax payers money on Sprags!

  44. ok
    May 9, 2011

    Ok John, for once u making sense. I agree with you… and whilst this has nothing to do with the penguin called Tony… he has a point also. Why should the tax payers pay for your office while u are not doing what you are supposed to do?

    Seriously though, regardless of who is in opposition, an office should be provided for them.

    • linky
      May 9, 2011

      this gorvenment has waist so many millions in the benifit of tony on court cases u all don’t have no problem with that but u all have a problem with the gorvenment spending a few cents on the office of the oposition.

  45. Piper
    May 9, 2011

    But wait, who elected Tony Astaphan to speak on behalf of the government? Skerrit needs to put a muzzle on this guys mouth.

    • Confused
      May 9, 2011

      I totally agree. I am thinking along the same line.

    • Red-Antz
      May 9, 2011

      are there any indications in the article which suggest that Tony is speaking or responding on behalf of government?? and i do believe that if DNO had not wished for Tony’s opinion on the matter they would not have asked him to respond to it. nor choose to publish any independent response put out by the him.

    • Q95
      May 9, 2011

      But wait,who elected Lennox Linton to speak as the Opposition Leader of the country? Do you know,Piper?

  46. Cerberus
    May 9, 2011

    Regardless of the merits of Mr. John’s request, what has this got to do with Mr. Astaphan?

    • WIKILEAKS
      May 9, 2011

      Maybe DNO asked Astaphans, what are his thoughts on what John has to say

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