Af­ter Party Sus­pends An­tigua Op­po­si­tion MP, Her Con­stituents Turn Their Backs On Her

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

It hasn’t been easy for em­bat­tled An­tigua and Bar­buda Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Joanne Mas­siah.

Not only has she lost favour with her United Pro­gres­sive Party (UPP), her con­stituents in All Saints East and St. Luke (ASESL) have cho­sen a new can­di­date to re­place her.

It’s the lat­est twist in a run­ning feud be­tween Mas­siah and the op­po­si­tion United Pro­gres­sive Party (UPP), which an­nounced last month that the for­mer govern­ment min­is­ter had been sus­pended from all party ac­tiv­i­ties pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into charges lev­elled against her.

The UPP has been tight lipped about the na­ture of the charges, which al­legedly stemmed from con­tro­ver­sial in­ter­nal elec­tions for party leader.

Mas­siah had dropped out of the con­test with cur­rent leader Harold Lovell, claim­ing that the process was un­fairly geared to­wards en­sur­ing a vic­tory for Lovell.

In a press re­lease, the con­stituency branch said it was forced to take the ac­tion af­ter hear­ing noth­ing from Mas­siah.

“In re­sponse to her sig­nif­i­cant and pro­longed ab­sences from meet­ings and the lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion felt by the con­stituency, the ASESL Branch unan­i­mously passed a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in MP Mas­siah on June 29, 2016,” branch chair­man Fitzroy Ju­lian told the An­tigua Ob­server, “We hadn’t seen her and I think that if we give you a job and you’re not show­ing up on the job then you’re not in­ter­ested. So we put it to a vote in a branch meet­ing and ev­ery­body unan­i­mously agreed that we just can’t work along with her.” The de­vel­op­ment ap­pears not to have fazed Mas­siah who de­clared yes­ter­day that she will be con­test­ing the next gen­eral elec­tion in her con­stituency, with or with­out the UPP, and she in­tends to win.

“When I run for the elec­tions I in­tend to win. I in­tend to be so per­sua­sive that per­sons in the UPP, un­de­cided vot­ers, and per­sons in the [An­tigua & Bar­buda] Labour Party will vote for Joanne Mas­siah,” she said.

Mas­siah has ac­cused the UPP of de­lib­er­ately try­ing to keep her out of the party to avoid an­other con­test for the lead­er­ship post.

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Hon Joanne Mas­siah says she in­tends to run in the next gen­eral elec­tions.

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