Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told Antigua.news that a series of events that led to threats against Asot Micheal, was provoked.
In a video that went viral on social media, Browne told Michael that he would hit him in the face if he continued to invade his space.
“We were campaigning peacefully for 5pm in Pares. Asot found out and made a stink. Brought in his thugs and a couple of loudspeakers and trailed us for two hours. We ignored them,” Browne said.
“He then decided to up the ante and was following me into the homes of electors in order to intimidate and interrupt the campaign. It’s an intimidatory tactic he used consistently to interrupt Turner’s campaign. However, last night he experienced a rude awakening literally and figuratively that he was barking up the wrong tree,” Browne added.
Browne said Asot was also warned by the prime minister’s security officers and others and he defied them.
“That is why they eventually stood in between both of us to protect me”, Browne explained.
However, Michael insisted that he was simply visiting the home of a constituent in Pares when PM Browne threatened to commit a criminal act of violence against him.
“Visibly upset that Michael entered the verandah of the residence he was visiting at the time; Browne made the threat twice and then repeated it loudly a third time for the avoidance of any doubt as to what he actually said: “If you come in my space, I will tomp you in your face”.
“Two police officers accompanying the Prime Minister heard him issue the threat and did nothing but pushed Mr. Michael when instructed by Mr. Browne to “get him out of here”
Mr. Michael is contesting next month’s general election as an independent candidate.
Michael was replaced by Turner after a series of events including a lawsuit against members of the ABLP and a nasty verbal war in the media.
Michael’s disgust with the ABLP leadership became apparent after he was fired as a Cabinet member after he was arrested in the UK for his alleged involvement in a bribery matter.
He won that seat four times on the Labour party’s ticket.