By Robert A. Emmanuel
Member of Parliament-elect for St Peter, Asot Michael said he will no longer be restricted in expressing his opinions in Parliamentary sessions following his successful bid for the constituency as an independent candidate.
Michael, who became the first politician in Antigua to be elected to Parliament as an independent candidate, announced his stance on Observer AM yesterday.
He said one issue that will be raised in Parliament would be the equitable allocation of government resources throughout the constituencies.
“But now, I am free from any obligation to toe any party lines or constrained by partisan preferences on issues of national importance.
“I have the freedom to say what I see, feel and honestly believe so things go right in the Antigua and Barbuda family and one of those things that needs to go right … is adequate allocation of public resources to meet the needs of all constituencies,” he said.
Michael, who focused his independent run on criticising his former colleague Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) for inadequate focus on the St Peter constituency which he claimed was ignored due to its longstanding support for the ABLP since 1976.
However, last week Wednesday’s election results saw the ABLP losing six seats, namely All Saints West, St Phillip’s South, St George, St John’s Rural West, St Peter, and St Mary’s South.
“I want to say you cannot victimise the constituencies that you have lost, the ABLP must stop doing that; constituencies that they have lost, they still give public infrastructure to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Michael called the support he received during last week’s poll “a revolution”.
“I believe that at last week’s general elections, God chose the people of the constituency of St Peter to lead what would be recorded in the history of our country and the region as a revolution — a peaceful and bloodless revolution, but a revolution nonetheless,” he stated.
He argued that he has been vindicated, stating “the Prime Minister … began to conduct himself in an openly hostile manner towards me and I found that my efforts to obtain his support and assistance to fund, to introduce projects for the people of St Peter was constantly frustrated by him.”
During the January 23 polls, Michael won his seat by 2,137 votes, thereby defeating ABLP candidate Rawdon Turner who received 899 votes, United Progressive Party candidate Tevaughn Harriette with 541 votes, and Democratic National Alliance candidate Chaneil Imhoff with 29 votes.