DNA says the ball is in the UPP’s court

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All hope is not lost as it pertains to the possibility of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) joining forces with the United Progressive Party (UPP) and by extension, becoming a part of the Faithful Nationals.

The leader of DNA, Joanne Massiah, responded to statements made by the leader of the UPP, Harold Lovell who made another attempt to get the DNA on their side yesterday.

“Whenever the political leader of the leadership of the UPP is ready to engage in bilateral discussions with the DNA we are open to such discussions so I guess the ball is in his court as he has acknowledged and so we simply await further word from the UPP,” Massiah said.

On OBSERVER AM yesterday, the UPP leader extended another olive branch to the fairly new party saying that uniting all opposition parties may be the only way to ensure the incumbent Antigua Barbuda Labour Party is voted out of office.

“In order to allow for a seamless and non-confrontation functional relationship we had invited the DNA to be a part of the Faithful Nationals and that would have allowed all of the opposition forces to join together,” Lovell explained.

“Well, in their wisdom they have chosen not to do that and they would prefer us to have just bilateral talks and that is not off the table and I can tell you we will do whatever it takes in so far as that issue is concerned in order to ensure that we get the strongest possible force in the next election.”

Massiah said that the DNA responded to a letter from the UPP a few months ago, requesting a meeting with their leadership and is still awaiting that opportunity.

In 2018, Lovell made similar statements stating that it would not have been helpful to have two opposition parties going up against the Labour Party but Massiah did not concede.

Massiah was once part of the UPP and was once a Cabinet minister under that party representing the All Saints East & St. Luke constituency. Her political relationship with Lovell and the party ended a few years ago after a bitter leadership battle between the two.

In fact, the former Minister of Agriculture was expelled from the party and went on to form her own party which was unsuccessful obtaining a seat in last year’s general elections.

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