DNA asks for patience after date for candidate reveal passes

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Anthony Stuart (Photo courtesy Caribbean Elections)
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By Kadeem Joseph

[email protected]

Residents who are anticipating the release of the official slate of candidates from the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will have to wait a little longer for the formal announcement.

At the start of February, the party’s team leader for the St Peter constituency Chaneil Imhoff said that a formal announcement would be forthcoming by the end of the said month, but such was not the case.

However, during an Observer AM interview on Tuesday, DNA founding member Anthony Stuart appealed to the public for more patience.

“The DNA has a good problem in that we have — for more than one of the constituencies — what we deem team leaders coming forward,” he explained. “So, we ask the people of this nation just for their forbearance for a little while longer.”

Stuart said that the party is in the process of finalising its team, adding that figuratively, the DNA is trying to avoid “blood spilling or blood letting on the street” once it has chosen its candidates for the next general election.

While staying clear of declaring a date for the announcement of prospective candidates, Stuart said, “You are going to see the slate of candidates very, very soon and we are in the process of planning how we are going to do our launch … so we are at the tail end of the process.”

The party, led by Joanne Massiah, emerged after the members of the DNA left the United Progressive Party (UPP) in 2017 following a contentious leadership race between Massiah and the current UPP leader, Harold Lovell.

The young party fielded 13 candidates for the 2018 general election and amassed a total of 654 votes, about 1.68 percent of the ballots cast.

While there have been questions about the viability of a third party, such as the DNA, in Antigua and Barbuda, the party has said that it remains focused on being the “fresh, new and dynamic” choice that the country needs.

The DNA also recently addressed talks of a possible merger with the UPP, and Massiah said that while such a union is unlikely, a merger in the future has not been ruled out.

Lovell has also addressed the prospect by telling Observer that the party’s “doors are always open for discussion”.

Elections are constitutionally due in 2023, however, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has hinted repeatedly at the prospect of early polls.

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