Another politician changes his tune, this time to join the UPP

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Yesterday it was confirmed that Vincent “Vere” Cornelius, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate who polled the most votes for his party in the 2018 general elections, has shifted gears and opted to join the United Progressive Party (UPP).

And Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Jamale Pringle is commending the new prospect, saying “he’s seeing the bigger picture”.

“He’s seeing that we need to be united to take this country forward. And I’m happy that he had made the move and willing to be a member of the United to the after party,” Pringle told OBSERVER media.

He added that the aim is to rescue Antigua and Barbuda and “we cannot do so divided”.

“And I think that is where his decision came from to leave the DNA and to join the United Progressive Party. Being that, and you know some time ago where we were protesting that DNA decided not to participate. And I think that was negative in his view that he decided that hey, in order for us to do this, we cannot continue to pull apart. We must pull together and if others are not willing to do so, he decided that he’s going to do so,” he shared.

Pringle shared that he has been in talks with Cornelius since the last general elections.

He said: “After the general election, I had approached him and we have been exchanging conversation. When I spoke to him, I got the genuineness of an individual who wants to serve not for self-gain, but to help the people of Antigua and Barbuda; to show them a better life.”

This move has come just weeks after Lamin Newton — the former UPP caretaker for the All Saints West Constituency, which he contested in the 2018 General Elections — tendered his resignation from the party.

Cornelius secured 134 votes in the same general elections where he contested the St John’s Rural East Constituency — the most votes obtained by single DNA candidate.

He went up against current MP Maria Bird-Browne from the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party, who won the seat by amassing 2,175 votes, and retired police inspector Trevor Young who received 975 votes on the UPP ticket.

Meanwhile, Pringle, the representative for the All Saints East and St Luke Constituency also informed OBSERVER that the scheduled rollout of the party’s candidates is still on schedule for the end of March, but that he has gotten mixed reaction from persons within the party about the influx of persons showing interest in the party as they might be fearing displacement.

“We have mixed feelings within the organization, because you have some persons who think that they are going to be alienated and not see the bigger picture, that in order for us to advance, we have to attract people. “There are also those persons who are happy that persons that joining and on a national level now. There’s a sense of pride that the United Progressive Party is back where they see new faces coming to the fore, especially at a critical time in our country’s economy where the government is failing us considerably,” he revealed.

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