Prime Minister Gaston Browne says elections are not over and the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) will launch a national campaign in St Mary’s South.
PM Browne said a bi-election will be called in a few months and the ABLP will retain that seat, which was grabbed by the Opposition United Progressive Party during the last general elections.
He told hundreds of supporters at the V.C Bird Bust during the annual Labour Day rally that St Mary’s South will not be an easy walk-over like it appeared to be on January 18.
“Elections are not over. We have one more seat to win. We have the St Mary’s South seat to win. And you can take this to the bank. The Labour Party will win the case and the Labour Party will win the seat. And I want to say here it’s going to be a national campaign in St Mary’s South because the people of St Mary’s South, need someone like Samantha Marshal. They don’t need a neophyte who cannot make any contribution to their development. They need a young lady who is committed to the empowerment, who has the competence to deliver,” he said
Browne is going on the assumption that Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, the UPP’s Parliamentary Representative for St Mary’s South will lose a court battle challenging his nomination.
According to documents filed in court, Simon was not eligible to run for office as he was a civil servant at the time of being officially nominated. Simon resigned from his post with the Ministry of Education a fortnight before the January 18 election.
“So, when comrade Samantha Marshall comes in a few months when the by-election is called in Saint Mary South, I expect you to vote for someone who can preside over your empowerment. Someone who will be in government. And comrade Samantha Marshall, I say to you, fear not. I say to you to go forth and win that seat. You’re not only doing it for yourself, but you’re doing it for this great movement. So those of you who may think that the Labor Party only has nine seats, I say to you, one more coming. And I say to you too, that God has blessed us with three consecutive terms and God shall bless us with a fourth, with a fifth, with a six, “Browne said.
Meanwhile, Simon always described the legal action as a “desperate attempt” by the ABLP to overturn the election result for the area.
He told the media that claimed the ABLP risked an even larger defeat at the polls if it continued to pursue this matter.
“The people would have rejected her and going the legal way for a battle I know they are going to lose is just wasting more time and agitating the people because word on the ground is that, even among their supporters, they are just wasting their time…worst case scenario, we go back to the polls and it is going to be a bigger defeat,” he said.
Simon won the St Mary’s South seat by over 200 votes.