The United Progressive Party (UPP) is hoping that the by-election in
St. Mary’s South will position it closer to taking over the reins of
government if another by-election – or even a General Election – is
The Antigua Labour Party won the January 18 polls by a razor-thin
majority of nine seats out of 17, boosting the Opposition’s
confidence that the people are fed up and want a change.
And winning the by-election in St. Mary’s South could create the
domino effect that is required to get rid of the failed Browne
Administration, says Damani Tabor, the UPP public relations officer.
Tabor says the people are disillusioned by the Administration’s
broken promises, which included a pay increase that public servants
should have received by the first quarter of this year (2023).
Now, workers are being told that an increase of 14 percent will be
effected in the 2024 budget cycle – at a time when Prime Minister
Gaston Browne has already indicated that taxes, including the ABST,
will be hiked.
Some residents are describing this situation as the Government
giving with one hand and taking back with the other.
However, Tabor says the people will not be fooled by this deceptive
move, as the latest poll already shows a massive shift away from the
Labour Party. Based on this, he says, it is unlikely to fare well if an
election is called before the five-year term ends.
At present, Tabor says, Cabinet colleagues are not necessarily
pleased with the leadership of the prime minister – but are simply
making do. Therefore, he believes that Browne will not risk losing
his position on a single race won through a by-election and would
rather call a General Election.
In the meantime, Tabor says it is up to the people of St. Mary’s South
to send a strong message to the ALP on polling day and re-elect the
UPP candidate, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, overwhelmingly.
The Party’s public relations officer refers to the by-election as “a
local race with national implications” for change.
Tabor notes that a loss for the ALP in St. Mary’s South will be just the
first nail in its coffin, and eventually it will be voted out of office.