Announcing his departure from the DNA, Louis Rivera still has his sights set on Parliament

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By Robert A. Emmanuel

[email protected]

“If the opportunity arises in the future to be a political candidate [again], I will be taking that opportunity for sure,” was the message from Louis Rivera, who recently resigned from the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).

The former DNA candidate for St John’s Rural North announced on the Browne and Browne show—a radio programme on Pointe FM — that he will be joining the ranks of the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).

Yesterday, he told Observer media about the rationale for his decision, stating that it had less to do with his now former political party and more about his political development.

“I was looking at representation and how it is done in this country… and I understood that, in order to make a difference, one had to be where the difference makers are, and I couldn’t be a difference maker within the DNA,” he said.

He explained that he chose the ABLP after looking “at the way governance was done”.

“I had disagreed and agreed with certain things over the last six years in active politics with the ruling administration, but the things that I did agree with [the ABLP] impressed me greatly—UWI Five Islands campus; the handling of the de-risking situation; doing its best to save LIAT; and the monumental feat on managing a positive economy during and post-Covid.

“The thing that broke the camel’s back for me was the treatment meted out to me by the UPP members and their supporters during the last campaign,” he said.

Rivera, who garnered just 42 votes in the January 18 polls, was a distant third behind the United Progressive Party’s Pearl Quinn-Williams (1,358 votes) and the current representative, the ABLP’s Charles Fernandez (1,563 votes).

Rivera revealed that he hoped to work with the current constituency representative and on his current community development initiatives as well as his new radio show.

During the months preceding the 2023 elections, the DNA lost several high profile members, namely its former Secretary General Gatesworth James; former candidate for St George Kelton Dalso; former First Vice-President Bruce Goodwin; and former Chairperson Malaka Parker.

Following a harrowing election loss two months ago, the news of Rivera’s resignation threatens to further weaken the DNA’s bid to become a viable third-party option in future elections.

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