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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The chief executive officer of VINLEC, the state-owned electricity company, has not been sent on leave, contrary to comments in the media.

“… [That’s] just absolutely ridiculous!” Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Gonsalves said VINLEC CEO Thornley Mayers is on holidays and had informed him about this several weeks ago.

He also refuted reports that there is friction between Mayers and chair of VINLEC’s board of directors, former culture minister Rene Baptiste.

“Thornley was up at the Cruise Ship Pier over a week ago, over the Easter weekend; he and Rene Baptiste — the chairman. They have excellent relations. So somebody can’t go on holidays now?” Gonsalves said.

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“… In the 21st century, when we have so many serious issues to deal with — what happen? People just too happy? They just have to make mischief and commess (gossip) and so on? I mean, what’s happening? That’s not what the democratisation of the broadcast media is about. It has to be some sense of responsibility,” he said in reference to a radio talk show host who reportedly spoke about the CEO being sent on leave.

He said such reports can be verified by making a phone call.

“Radio stations will make news out of people who call in with gossip. … I mean, the truth is this, at a personal level, it matters me not. But I am concerned about my country and the young people and we really have to be more responsible in that regard,” Gonsalves said.

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