UPP’s team of lawyers is ready to answer challenge to nomination of ‘Shugy’ Simon, Isaac assures party supporters

The United Progressive Party (UPP) says it is ready for the legal challenge that has been mounted against Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, its representative for the constituency of St. Mary’s South, by a supporter of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP).

Simon trounced the ALP’s candidate, Samantha Marshall, in the January 18 polls, beating her by close to 200 votes.

Now, Casworth Aaron, a constituent and voter, has filed a High Court petition that challenges the legality of Simon’s nomination, and is seeking a declaration that it contravened both the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda and the Civil Service Act.

Marshall’s brother, Hugh Marshall Jr., whose law firm filed the motion, is of the opinion that Simon, at the time of his nomination, was not qualified to participate in the elections.  This, he says, is because Simon had not yet submitted his resignation to the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Marshall also feels that, given when Simon’s resignation was tendered – just ahead of the general elections – it did not allow the PSC sufficient time for consideration.

Meanwhile, D.Gisele Isaac, the UPP chairman, notes that Marshall publicly congratulated Simon on his victory at the polls; however, it now appears that her party is seeking to invalidate his win.  

She acknowledges, though, that although Marshall was beaten squarely, it is her right to launch a challenge.

Reassuring Party supporters who are concerned about the legal matter, Isaac states that the UPP has a team of lawyers in place to deal with it.

In the meantime, another of the UPP candidates is in a legal battle – this time with Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Alister Thomas has a defamation matter with Browne, which has been dragging on since 2020.  Browne has sued Thomas over statements he made during an Observer Radio interview.

Earlier, the prime minister had called for a retraction and apology, which Thomas ignored, insisting that his statements were truthful, and therefore the matter reached the stage of litigation.

The matter was to have begun on Monday, January 30, in the High Court, but has bee adjourned to March 1.