By Aabigayle McIntosh
The competition to succeed the long-serving politician from the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, Sir Robin Yearwood Snr, has taken a more intense and intriguing turn, with Dr. Oswald Thomas, his former campaign manager, stepping into the fray.
Dr. Thomas, known for his campaign expertise and ABLP affiliation, joins a list of four individuals, including Robin Yearwood Jr., the son of Sir Robin, all vying to replace the veteran ABLP figure. After serving as the Member of Parliament for St. Philip’s North for four decades, Sir Robin Yearwood Snr. is reportedly considering stepping down from his political role.
In recent media coverage over the weekend, Yearwood Jr. submitted a three-page letter to Fitzgerald Lewis, the chairman of the St. Phillip’s North Constituency Branch, formally expressing his desire to become the next representative for the constituency.
Acknowledging his father’s less favorable performance in the latest poll, Yearwood Jr. highlighted that the ABLP managed to retain power with only a slim majority.
Conversely, Dr. Thomas made his intentions known during an interview with Twin Island Media, where he was invited to provide insights on the developments within the constituency.
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“I have declared my candidacy to replace Sir Robin and have applied since February of this year after several people within the constituency and from the diaspora asked me to contest,” he said.
Thomas is no stranger to politics having worked as Sir Robin’s Campaign Manager and Adviser for a number of years.
“Folks have always asked me to run and just like the prophet asks who will go and I said send me”, he said.
There is a widespread belief that Sir Robin might not serve out his ongoing term, potentially paving the way for a potential by-election aimed at selecting his replacement.
Addressing the situation, Thomas expressed his participation in the race alongside three other contenders. He conveyed his strong belief in his ability to achieve victory.
Furthermore, in response to a query about whether he perceived Robin Yearwood Jr. as the likely winner due to his family name or his status as a younger aspirant, Thomas offered his perspective.
“Having the name may serve as a disadvantage for him because this is a seat that the Labour Party must get right and has to have the right candidate or else the United Progressive Party could take the seat. I congratulate him for wanting to serve, but I believe his time has not yet come”.
As it relates to the question of age he stated,” The people of St Mary’s North are not concerned about youth and inexperience, they are looking for someone who is mature, can hit the ground running, and who can speak for them,” Thomas said.
He asserted that constituents are looking for someone with experience and not someone who will have to learn on the job.