Barbudans called to vote party lines as ABLP/BPM vie to lead Council

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As Barbudans go to the polls today to determine the fate of six seats on the Barbuda Council, they are being asked to vote “along party lines” and forgo the familial political support which Prime Minister Gaston Browne said has been the norm.
PM Browne made numerous such calls on the weekend as he and other senior members of the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) rallied support in their campaign’s ‘last-lap’.
At an ABLP rally Browne said, “Do not vote on sentimentality. You have to look at the council election in a very pragmatic way.”
His Minister of Tourism Asot Michael took a swipe directly at one family in particular. He declared, “This is not a family dynasty. We don’t want to hear anything about any Frank. The Franks had their time and they failed Barbuda.”
Asha Frank and Jackie Frank are both running for Council seats for the opposition Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM). Asha’s father, Mackenzie Frank, who has also served the council, is the current general secretary of the BPM.
Speaking on this week’s Big Issues programme, BPM candidate Kendra Beazer said, “I don’t think it is predominantly an issue in Barbuda alone but it [is] in many places in the world.”
He said the practice has a strong effect in Barbuda because families want to support their relatives who are able to represent Barbuda “at a higher level”.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the present ABLP dominated Council, Orlando Morris said, “We’re hoping that people will realise it’s not all about family. It’s about country.”
On a whole, the commentary of numerous supporters of the ruling ABLP suggests that the party is relying on the popularity of hotel investments and recent projects on the sister isle to carry it to victory.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

Prime Minister Gaston Browne (far right) and United Progressive Party (UPP) Political Leader Harold Lovell (2nd right) had a war of words on-air during the live broadcast of the Snakepit from Codrington, Barbuda on Saturday evening.

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