The former Political Leader of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell has broken his silence 3 months after the January 18 elections saying it was time to move on.
“Responsibility goes a long way and it is very important for our political culture that persons do not hang around past their welcome,” Lovel said in an Observer Radio Interview on Wednesday.
He explained that while he appreciates the sentiment of many, who were advocating for him to stay on to mentor the new parliamentarians in the organization, he said his decision to quit active politics was necessary.
“I had thought this thing through and I felt if this happens that’s what you have to do.
And I deliberately did it that way because I did not want to make a decision on the spur of the moment”.
The former UPP Political Leader resigned one day after the January 18th polls after failing in his bid to lead the party to victory for a third consecutive time.
In addition to the party’s loss at the polls, he was also unsuccessful in winning the St John’s City East seat for a third time, only by 6 votes this time around. Melford Nicholas of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is the Incumbent for the area.
Lovell also went on to express confidence in the new crop of parliamentarians who secured victory in the polls saying he is elated with the party’s accomplishment.
“We have a group of people who are in their 30’s, just the right age. I am satisfied that there is room for the younger ones to come forward, I am there to now encourage them. I still have the fight in me and I do not want there to be any doubt about that, I am still very committed to the United Progressive Party”
“I did not enter politics to do anything but to make a change. For me I have no bitterness, I feel that I played the part that I could have. I gave it my best shot and I am leaving elective politics the way I entered . I have not enriched myself through politics,” Lovell said.
The noted attorney stated that apart from the six seats, there was a huge increase in the percentage of votes in each constituency.
Of the 42,611 valid votes that were casted that day, the ruling ABLP secured 20,052, while the UPP secured 19,267.
“When you take these together you see that the party did extra-ordinarily well and then when you look at the swings, they are amazing,” the former party said.
Asked whether he could ever be convinced to re-enter politics, Lovell said, “the time has come for me to move on. I will still be around but I will play a different role”.
Under a UPP government, Lovell served as Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration.
He was also the minister of tourism and civil aviation and Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda from August 2004 to January 2005, when Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer took over those posts in a cabinet reshuffle.