Attorney weighs in on Asot, ABLP’s legal fight

Leader of the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party, Prime Minister Gaston Browne (left) and St Peter MP Asot Michael (file photo)
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While the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is yet to announce its next move since the court recently declared that its candidate for St Peter, Rawdon Turner, was not selected in accordance with the party’s revised constitution, one local attorney has weighed in on a possible way forward.

The current Member of Parliament (MP) for St Peter, Asot Michael has been fighting the ABLP’s plans to replace him as the candidate in the courts.

However, attorney at law Colin Derrick believes the ABLP erred when it “ignored the specific provisions and the regulations” laid out in its constitution.

He explained that based on its constitution, “the constituency branch has to hold a meeting for the purposes of nominating a candidate to represent the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party in the St Peter’s constituency.”

He said that it was clear from the judgement that no such meeting was held.

Derrick, who was a minister of government during the United Progressive Party administration, further stated that a person or persons must both be nominated and seconded at this meeting before being sent to the central executive to be vetted for their suitability and approval.

“At that stage, in my opinion, the central executive can deny that a particular person who has been duly nominated and seconded as not being suitable to represent the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party in the next general elections,” the attorney further explained, noting that the party would have to explain why the nominee was not deemed fit.

In the event that multiple potential candidates emerge, then there will be the need for a primary.

“If they had done it that way, I think the executive would have been on stronger grounds in resisting any attempts to say that a person who was nominated was not properly nominated,” Derrick added.  

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled that the interim injunction will stand until the hearing and determination of this action or until there are fresh actions/proceedings initiated and conducted in accordance with the Revised Constitution of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.

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