Bird-Browne shows spark

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One of the major criticisms in the wake of the revelation that Maria Bird-Browne would be following her illustrious family members into the political arena was that she was “too soft” for politics, which one observer dubbed a blood sport.
Her low-key public persona has fed that perception and people are quick to recall her retreat when controversy erupted over plans to have her charity Share Inc. partner with the government on a project.
On Monday the nation observed V.C. Bird Day and Bird-Browne delivered the citation for her grandfather at an event to commemorate the man hailed as the “father of the nation.”
And with the bust of “Papa Bird” sitting solidly in the background, Bird-Browne sought to vanquish any thought that she was a pushover as she publicly declared herself for the St. John’s Rural East constituency.
“I pledge that in the constituency of St. John’s Rural East no one will be left behind despite any differences we may have. I pledge to place you the people in the foreground for improvement, so please, Mr. Honourable Prime Minister, be it publicly known today that I will be bringing the constituency of St. John’s Rural East to the front of the line, we will not be sitting back,” Bird-Browne declared to roars of approval from the party faithful.
One would have been forgiven for thinking the national observance was really a Labour party rally, what with the sea of red in the audience. Bird-Browne wasn’t finished.
“There is much to be done in Rural East and I will not settle until I have delivered for my good people. This seat will once again be brought home to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party and we will continue to work even  harder to achieve the ultimate goal of creating an economic powerhouse, a vision concordant with those of Sir Vere Cornwall Bird, a vision I firmly believe he would applaud the results thus far,” she said.
Bird-Browne’s candidacy hasn’t come without some mutterings, since she was one of several people who had indicated an interest in contesting the seat currently held by her uncle, Sir Lester Bird. Their subsequent withdrawal has led to speculation that they were pressured to yield to the prime minister’s wife. But PM Gaston Browne has said that polls undertaken by the party have shown that Bird-Browne is the best candidate for that constituency.
“Our polls are not about personalities, they’re about the individual that represents the best option in each constituency,” Browne said before going on to confirm his wife’s candidacy. 
“Maria Bird-Browne emerged by way of poll as the best option for the people of Rural East … so forget about all the propaganda about second and third and fourth, best option.”
But the PM was shrewd enough to address Bird-Browne’s declaration about the status of a constituency represented by her under a Labour government led by him. According to him, no constituency will be placed before another.
“Let me make the point here to the people of Rural East, there will be equity. We will make sure that no constituency, that no one is left behind. We believe in equity so all of the constituencies will be serviced in an equitable manner.”  
 Bird-Browne, the mother of one, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently pursuing a law degree.

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