Former MP Kelvin “Shugy” and the United Progressive Party (UPP)
are highlighting a number of issues in the St. Mary’s South
constituency, where a by-election is expected to be held within the
next 120 days.
Simon tendered his resignation from the Lower House last
Wednesday, June 7 – which is expected to trigger the by-election –
and he and Samantha Marshall, the Antigua Labour Party candidate,
have hit the campaign trail.
Marshall reportedly has commenced work on a recreational facility
in Urlings. But Simon and the UPP say that she unveiled plans for
the new facility since October 2022, three months before the
January 18 General Election.
Since Simon’s resignation was announced, work reportedly has
begun in earnest, and constituents and others are referring to this
as an obvious election gimmick.
Meantime, another reason to re-elect Simon, the UPP says, is the fact
that the Cades Bay Pineapple Farm – home to the famous Antigua
Black – was left to fall into paddock under Marshall’s tenure as
minister of agriculture.
Further, the UPP says that Marshall, being the representative in one
of Antigua’s largest agricultural belts, failed to give the farmers in
the constituency the needed support.
The state of the clinic and pharmacy in Johnsons Point is another
reason the UPP gives for the Labour Party candidate being rejected.
Both operations have been closed; and under Marshall’s
representation, St. Mary’s South residents have been subjected to
poor health services.
It was noted that, despite the fanfare of the Bolans clinic being
completed in December 2022, it is still closed. Yet, during the
handover ceremony in March this year, officials had announced that
the facility would be open in two weeks.
The UPP is also highlighting the condition of the Johnsons Point
Road and its broken guard rail.
According to the Party, things done in halves are never done right,
and the earlier rush job on the roadway has begun to show signs of
erosion. Thus, the Party notes, the road poses some level of danger
to motorists and pedestrians alike.
The UPP notes that all these issues will be addressed by the
Administration on the cusp of a by-election, and it is a shame that,
almost five months have passed since the last General Election, and
no move had been made, earlier, to deal with them.