By Aabigayle McIntosh
Prime Minister Gaston Browne says the former Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party candidate Samantha Marshall had made the decision to pull out of the St Mary’s South by-election race, months before it was made public.
“That decision was made even earlier in the year she indicated to us that she was not inclined to contest the by-election. We were also searching for a new candidate concurrently while she was holding on and we looked at many options both within and without,” Browne told State Media following the swearing-in of Senator Dwayne George
George will be the new candidate for the upcoming by-elections in that constituency
“This young man [Dwayne George] was our best option and he was actually recommended by a number of individuals within the constituency, they said to us if we are lucky enough to get this man on our side, he is a winner,” Browne said.
Browne said George, a former United Progressive Party member, is very talented, saying that he is also pleased with the response received from the constituents.
The prime minister remains very optimistic that the party’s new choice is well on the way to becoming the next Member of Parliament for St Mary’s South.
Despite negative reactions to George’s switch from the UPP, Browne defends the decision, citing previous examples of politicians doing the same thing.
“You would recall Dr. Errol Cort was once a member of the Labour Party he walked one day and the following day because a member of the UPP and defeated Sir Lester Bird. There are so many examples even in our current administration”, he said
He maintained that his party always seeks to attract the best talent.
Browne also insisted that George’s decision was not incentivized by money.
“Not one cent he is doing this out of conviction I think he always knew that he could serve at the highest level. The opportunity aroused and he ceased it, these opportunity does not come every day” he added
Browne also sees the newly appointed Senator as a strong political force.