Interesting indeed

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We always knew that the next general election was going to be one for the ages but there was no way that we could predict that Maria Bird-Browne, the wife of Prime Minister Gaston Browne, would seek to run for office in the seat currently occupied by her uncle, living national hero, former Prime Minister, senior advisory minister and Leader Emeritus of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, Lester Bird.  Have we forgotten anything?
A number of political pundits and observers have described Mrs. Bird-Browne’s candidacy as “interesting.”  To say that there are interesting times ahead is obvious, and we dare say, an understatement, but it would be an apt description, and in all honesty, we really do not know how to describe it better.  How else could you describe the road to this moment and the path ahead? “Interesting!”  Yup!  That fits the bill so we will go with that.
It was not too long ago that the “nastiness” of politics cause the suspension of Share Inc. Mrs. Bird Browne’s charity; February in fact.  So there was no thought that we would see the good lady get into the political trenches and participate in the hand-to-hand nastiness so as to get an up close and personal view in the process.  Interesting.
It is also interesting that a new political candidate, battling in such a historic seat, with two well established competitors in the form of Senators Alincia Williams-Grant and Shenella Govia could exude such confidence.  Hearing from Mrs. Bird-Browne that she does not foresee any challenges going forward in the primary has given the conspiracy theorist enough to conclude that the primary will ultimately be uncontested.  They claim that the ‘fix is in’ and the senators will concede the primary to the PM’s wife.  We will wait to see if they are right.
Even the member of parliament for the Rural East constituency, Lester Bird, was taken aback by the news that his niece would be contesting the seat and apparently, he would not.  Regarding his own candidacy, he said, “I do think that as the former prime minister and as the person who has been there for so long, that at least I should be allowed the civility to make the pronouncement rather than for me to be reading it in the newspaper. I do not think that does me any service.”  Very interesting words from this political legend.
He shouldn’t feel so bad because even the current prime minister and husband of Mrs. Bird-Browne apparently did not have a clue that his wife had written to the constituency branch and had officially made her intentions to contest the primary known. Imagine that!  The good lady kept that gigantic decision a secret from her hubby.  We tip our hats, those are some serious secret-keeping skills.  It makes us curious as to what else the lady keeps secret.  Interesting indeed.
We also have to tip our hats to our fellow Antiguans and Barbudans because they continue to keep their sense of humour.  Almost every discussion on the matter of Maria Bird-Browne is replete with references to Hurricane Maria.  The most popular being, “all yuh tink Hurricane Maria mis Antigua? Wait … de real ting about to land and tings go get real nasty now!”
Conspiracy theorist have less humour and they see the recent move as very sinister.  According to them, the prime minister is seeking to create a monarchy – well, his version of it anyway.  They have concluded that Maria will be crowned with the win in Rural East and he will be emboldened by the moves to the south by Comrade Ralph Gonsalves and maybe look to get more family members in the halls of power.  For those of you who missed it, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves recently appointed his son, Camillo Gonsalves as the new minister of finance; adding to his current portfolio of Economic Planning and Sustainable Development.  
The conspiracists have concluded that the PM is hellbent on securing a tighter grip on power and will align the pawns to his best advantage until he can fill out his regal court with family members and others that are completely loyal to him and his agenda.  It may be farfetched to most but interesting nonetheless. Although there is a “Prince” in this conspiracy soap opera, he does not have a role in the immediate future of the power struggle/plan.
As political observers, we are eager to see how all of this unfolds.  The election is constitutionally due in 2019 but all signs are that it will occur in 2017, with some insiders predicting within the first half of 2018.
We can certainly see the logic behind an early election call but as we have said before, early elections are full of risk.  
With the way that things are shaping up, this election will be interesting indeed.

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