By Robert A. Emmanuel
Former Member of Parliament Samantha Marshall was among three new faces appointed by the governing Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) to the Upper House of Parliament.
The other newly appointed senators include unsuccessful ABLP candidate for St Peter, Rawdon Turner, and Clement Antonio.
The three new appointees have replaced unsuccessful candidate for St John’s Rural West Gail Christian, former Senators Maureen Payne-Hyman and Aziza Lake.
Senator Marshall was also appointed Minister of State within the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Social Transformation and the Environment, with responsibility for Social Transformation.
Observer media spoke to Senator Marshall following her appointment.
“I was in Social Transformation before and I would love to see a lot of the work that the previous minister was doing continue, and so I have already engaged Minister [Molwyn] Joseph,” she said.
With only Minister Maria Browne serving as an elected member of Parliament, Senator Marshall gave her take on the lack of female representation in elected politics.
“To only have one [elected female Parliamentarian] moving from two is a disappointment; I would have hoped that we would have seen more women elected to active politics,” she said.
Marshall said that more women and men needed to encourage women to run for elected office.
Meanwhile, Senator Shenella Govia was appointed Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry of Education, Sports and the Creative Industries; Clement Antonio was appointed Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry of Housing, Works, Land and Urban Renewal; and Knacyntar Nedd was appointed Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Trade, Immigration and Barbuda Affairs.
Returning to the Senate were Caleb Gardiner who was first appointed in December 2022; Mary Clare Hurst; Shenella Govia; Philip Shoul; Alinica Williams-Grant; Colin Browne; Osbert Frederick; and the unsuccessful ABLP candidate for Barbuda, Knacyntar Nedd.
According to the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, the Governor General on advice of the Prime Minister must appoint 11 persons to the Senate—one of whom must be from Barbuda.