A political analyst has given his perspective on the interesting turn of events in St Mary’s South where a candidate who was being groomed by the opposition United Progressive Party is now representing the interest of the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
Dwayne George, a bodybuilder and civil servant, will compete against his former colleague Kelvin “Shugy” Simon in a pending by-election to select the next Parliamentary Representative for the area.
George was announced the ABLP’s choice after former Caretaker Samantha Marshall resigned.
Barbados-based pollster Peter Wickham told Twin Island Media that the ABLP’s decision is a “shooed move”
“Politics is often hard and this idea that the party has to look outside is not the first time. There are persons who clearly represent the ABLP that come from elsewhere and I have certainly been in the frontline of encouraging people like Joanne Massiah to join the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
“Political fluidity is a natural reality of life in the region and that is what is reflected here. I think I was in a position where I was concerned that Marshall would have been able to win the seat simply because it’s a challenging seat to win in the best of times for the ABLP”.
Wickham also believes the move could benefit the governing party.
“There is a possibility that some of the UPP supporters may want to go with him, he is a hometown guy and I think that he is a person who was actually involved heavily in the UPP’s last election and that is great the party can get him over”.
He also explains that this move demonstrates that the ABLP is alive and well and thinking and can attract new talent which many thought would not be able to in the third term let alone from the opposition.
The analyst also believes that the “narrative is now safe” because no matter the outcome of the by-election the Gaston Browne-led administration would still be in a good place.
“I think it is a political masterstroke quite frankly and I think the ABLP when the dust settles would have to acknowledge the shrewdness of this move”.
George told a local radio station last week that the ruling party recognized his talent and provided an avenue for him to nurture should gifts that were overlooked by the UPP.