Political pundits: DNA spells trouble for the UPP

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Political pundits examining the impact of the launch of the nation’s newest political party – the Democratic National Alliance, (DNA) – agree that it will spell trouble for the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).
Political pollster and analyst Don Anderson noted that while the DNA may not succeed in overturning the government in the short term, it will pull support away from the UPP.
Thus, he said, it will make it easier for the ruling Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) to secure another term in office.
“The ABLP could simply sit back, to a large extent, and watch the cannibalisation take place. The DNA is going to pull support from the UPP, there is no question about it,” he said.
ABLP MP and former Public Relations Officer (PRO) Dean Jonas also acknowledged that DNA will face an uphill battle in establishing its presence in the country.
“The ABLP will not be easy to beat in any election; it was never easy to beat them. You have to have a leader who is able to pull everybody together. Joanne Massiah is a great lady, she is bright and so on, but with the two of them [UPP and DNA] fighting each other, they will both weaken each other,”  Jonas said.
Former UPP MP Eleston Adams suggested that the UPP Political Leader Senator Harold Lovell should take a closer look at the recent developments as more members of the UPP may be encouraged to walk away from the party.
“The politial leader cannot afford to lose this election, this is his only chance, if he loses then there will be a further exodus of more supporters going elsewhere or DNA will eventually become the country’s main opposition,” Adams said.
The DNA was launched by opposition MP Joanne Massiah, two months after she was officially expelled from the UPP. It also comes two years after she abandoned a UPP leadersip battle against Lovell. Adams, who was also in that race, lost to Lovell.
The new party includes former key UPP executives namely; former senator Anthony Stuart; former St John’s Development Corporation chairman, Sylvester Brown; Gatesworth James and Bruce Goodwin.
Meanwhile, Adams, Jonas and Anderson, who were all guests on The Big Issues programme yesterday, questioned the DNA’s position on campaign financing.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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