Four in Four: Another DNA member resigns

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Kelton Dalso, the latest resignation from the Democratic National Alliance (Social media photo)
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By Robert A. Emmanuel

[email protected]

Another week, another resignation.

A fourth member of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has announced his exit from the relatively new political party.

Kelton Dalso, who was slated to contest the St George constituency for the DNA in the upcoming general election, has now become the fourth departed official within as many weeks.

This latest announcement followed the exits of former President and DNA candidate for St John’s Rural West Malaka Parker, former DNA First Vice-President Bruce Goodwin, and former DNA Secretary General and candidate for the St John’s City West constituency, Gatesworth James.

In Dalso’s press statement, he accused the DNA leadership of “haemorrhaging its top brass” and called his resignation “a serious blow to the organisation”.

Dalso also stated that, in a letter to the DNA Deputy Secretary General Marjorie Parchment, “it was his own resilience, fortitude and perseverance which kept him in the ranks of the DNA, as he was not here because the institution itself was pleasant and progressive”.

The press release also made personal allegations against the DNA Political Leader, Joanne Massiah, accusing her of waging “personal vendettas” and questioning her leadership capacity due to “serious and frequent meltdowns,” and being “pompous and arrogant”.

Observer mediaspoke to Dalso about his resignation yesterday.

He accused the political party of “losing its way”, a similar allegation made by former DNA Secretary General, Gatesworth James.

“What the DNA when I joined stood for is actually totally contrary [to what it is today]. We said we were going to disrupt the status quo, we were going to bring about transformational leadership, but this was just showmanship, theatrics by the leader and Second Vice-President [Anthony Stuart],” he said.

He denied any allegations made against him being aligned with the United Progressive Party (UPP), stating that he came directly from the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).

In a message to Observer, Massiah said she was not one to be distracted, and that being involved in politics means “personal attacks shrouded in lies and deception will come”.

She argued that the “big picture is the fight for the hearts and minds of the electorate”.

Additionally, DNA spokesperson, Chaneil Imhoff, released a statement thanking Dalso for “doing the party a favour by formally submitting his resignation, given his open hostility, aggression and uncooperativeness towards his colleagues”.

The public fallout of the DNA does not bode well for the party’s viability as an alternative party in the next general election.

This was according to former political commentator, Carlon Knight, who now works in the Antigua and Barbuda civil service.

On his Facebook page, Knight wrote that, “small island states do not have the critical mass nor the maturity to support multiparty systems”.

He noted that third political parties are either driven into unworkable coalitions or obscurity.

Knight also called the idea that a third party could overtake the more established political parties a hopeless endeavour.

“You can… be a ‘spoiler’ for people in narrow races, but based on these events, even that seems unlikely,” he wrote.

Reviewing the numerous statements released in the past month, the falling out within the DNA is related to a February interview on Observer Radio between Bruce Goodwin and host Dave Lester Payne during which the then DNA First Vice-President alluded to the possibility of a merger between the DNA and the UPP.

Since then, accusations have been thrown on both sides regarding the leadership of the party and the loyalty of the former colleague.

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