Leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party and Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the resignation of the MP for St Mary’s South is an acknowledgment of his violation of the electoral laws and he took preemptive action in anticipation of the court vacating his seat.
Kelvin Shugy Simon resigned as MP for St Mary’s South after what he said was careful consideration and prayers.
Simon submitted his letter of resignation to the Speaker of the House, Sir Gerald Watt, KC, informing him of his decision to vacate the seat in Parliament, so that a by-election can be held within the next 120 days, as the law mandates.
But PM Browne said Simon recognizes that he does not have the capacity to serve the people of St Mary’s South at the level of the Parliament; therefore, took the easy way out to resign,”.
He said the ABLP will contest the bi-election vigorously and “we are confident that Sen Samantha Marshall, based on her experience and competence will be returned as the representative of St Mary’s South”, PM Browne told Antigua.news
Simon won his seat in the January 18th general elections by 199 votes against the ABLP’s candidate Samantha Marshall.
However, that seat became one of contention when on January 31, 2023, he was served with a Petition challenging his election on the grounds that he was disqualified because he was nominated while still employed as a public servant.
The matter was taken to court and was expected to continue in the first week of July
“It is unfair to the people of St. Mary’s South to have this uncertainty hanging over their heads. This situation needs to be resolved without further delay. Therefore, my decision, today, June 7, 2023, is that I want this matter to be settled by the people; not by the Court. The constituents of St. Mary’s South elected me convincingly before, and I am confident that they will do so again in a by-election,” Simon said.
He said his resignation will create conditions for a clean break and reset and allow the people of St. Mary’s South to reaffirm me as their MP.