By Orville Williams (Antigua Observer) In what was likely his first public statement on the matter since last month’s decision, St Peter MP Asot Michael is adamant that he has not failed in the bid to represent the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) in the next general election.
The embattled MP’s stance follows the party’s convention on July 10, where 17 candidates were endorsed as the slate to contest the election – Michael’s name was absent; ‘replaced’ by Rawdon Turner who the party has been touting as its candidate for St Peter.
According to reports, a three-person suitability committee established by the ABLP considered both Turner and Michael for the candidacy, but voted for Turner as the preferred candidate, with Michael deemed unsuitable by a majority.
The former Tourism Minister and his legal team maintain that – based on court proceedings – the party has no authority to go forward with the official selection of Turner as the candidate, unless that authority has been granted by the court itself.
“I’m not sure that I’m not part of the ticket; I mean there’s a court judgement, there’s a declaration that still stands, and there’s a court order,” Michael insisted during an appearance on the Connecting with Dave Lester Payne show on Wednesday.
The court judgement, dated April 19 this year, states that respondents Mary-Claire Hurst (the ABLP’s General Secretary), Paul Chet Greene (the ABLP’s Chairman) and Gaston Browne (the ABLP’s Political Leader), cannot – whether directly or indirectly – hold out any person to represent St Peter on behalf of the ABLP, who is not selected in accordance with the provisions of the party’s revised constitution.