By Robert A. Emmanuel
Newly appointed Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Jamale Pringle and the four opposition senators were officially sworn in yesterday at Government House.
Pringle, who retained his seat in Parliament representing the constituency of All Saints East and St Luke in last week’s election, was once again sworn in as Leader of the Opposition.
Pringle will now have the task of leading a stronger opposition bench in the House of Representatives. Opposition members now number eight, including five recently elected UPP candidates, plus Barbuda’s MP Trevor Walker, and former Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) member Asot Michael.
Meanwhile, UPP General Secretary Shawn Nicholas, unsuccessful candidate for the St Mary’s North constituency, Johnathan Joseph, unsuccessful candidate for St Philip’s North, Alex Browne, and Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) General Secretary, David Massiah, were appointed senators.
Nicholas, Joseph and Massiah have all previously served as senators with Shawn Nicholas holding a role since 2013, Johnathan Joseph serving as senator since 2018, and David Massiah from 2009-2014.
The ABWU, in a press release, praised the decision of the Opposition Leader to appoint their General Secretary.
“This appointment is indicative of the seriousness with which matters of labour should be treated,” the ABWU statement read.
Pringle, who spoke to state media after the ceremony, said that Massiah’s appointment was indicative of the party’s commitment to the working class.
“We are committed to the working class because Senator Massiah is here as a representative for the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union…we think that [if] we are serious about the working class of Antigua and Barbuda, we need to have persons from labour relations part of the legislative process,” Pringle commented.