MP Michael reportedly offered 100 acres of Crown land near Devil’s Bridge to walk away from the St. Peter seat

Embattled MP Asot Michael reportedly is being “incentivized” to abandon his fight for a place on the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) ticket in the next general elections. 

A well-placed source alleges that 100 acres of Crown land, located in the Devil’s Bridge area, is on offer, as the ALP tries to persuade Michael not to contest the St. Peter seat and allow Rawdon Turner to run unchallenged.

The inside source tells REAL News that Prime Minister Gaston Browne has become desperate, given Michael’s victories in the court, to date, and the time restriction stipulated in the ALP’s revised constitution.

Accordingly, the source alleges that the ALP is prepared to use Crown land as currency ahead of the next polls in an attempt to bolster Browne’s chances of retaining the government. 

Weeks ago, REAL News Correspondent George Wehner reported that Utilities Minister Sir Robin Yearwood had acquired 31 acres of Crown land near Devil’s Bridge at $2 per square foot. There has been no denial or contradiction of that report.

Meanwhile, a legal source reminds REAL News that, through a Cabinet decision, private land in Gambles Terrace recently was acquired by the Browne Administration, apparently to ensure that Information Minister Melford Nicholas could keep his Branch office on that site.

No details of either payment or an exchange of land have since been made public, the attorney notes.

Meanwhile, concerns continue to mount about the Browne Administration’s disposition of Crown lands to settle debts.

One resident tells REAL News he fears that a US$12 million loan from the Peace Love and Happiness developer will be settled in this manner.

Despite repeated promises to bring that loan agreement before the Parliament, Finance Minister Browne has failed to do so – giving, instead, oral assurances that the debt will be set off against future payment of taxes and duties.

However, the concerned resident says he does “not believe a word” of Browne’s explanations. “It’s all about the land,” he says, “so Barbuda people and Antigua people had better watch out.”

PM Browne’s wife, Maria Bird Browne, is the Minister of Lands.