Former minority leader quitting Senate

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Recently demoted minority leader in the Senate, Gail Christian is reportedly calling it quits from the Upper House altogether.

The announcement was made at the Antigua Labour Party’s (ALP) executive meeting Friday night and comes about a month after she was reduced to an ordinary senator and replaced by ALP Barbuda representative Arthur Nibbs, who is now minority leader.

In addressing Senator Christian’s decision, acting political leader of the party, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said, “It is regrettable. Senator Christian is seen as one of the stars of the Antigua Labour Party and is destined to win her seat at the next general elections and, to some day, lead the ALP.”

He further noted her intention is “well respected” by the ALP executive and does not detract from her position as party chairman, in which she is expected to continue to perform.

OBSERVER media understands Christian’s decision has not yet been officially communicated to the Senate, since she is yet to pen her intentions to ALP leader Gaston Browne. Efforts to reach Christian and Browne over the weekend were unsuccessful. Browne is said to be overseas on party business.

Meantime, according to a letter OBSERVER media obtained, the ALP Women’s Action Group (WAG) had earlier expressed disappointment with Browne’s decision to demote Christian to ordinary Senator last month.

In the letter dated July 11, the group said Christian’s demotion is in contravention of the spirit of the ALP Constitution and with Article 1 of the Inter-American Convention of Belen de Para to which the twin-island state is signatory.

WAG said it was an insult to the senator’s character and to the character of all women across the nation.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)