Residents voice concerns with new party

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If the questions posed at yesterday’s launch of a new political party are any indication, the electorate in Antigua & Barbuda is concerned about a range of policy issues spanning campaign finance reform to the treatment of non-nationals.
Residents of Antigua & Barbuda put their concerns to the present leadership of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) as the newly formed organisation tried to persuade individuals to support it and its programmes.
During the question and answer phase of the launch, Founder of the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) Steve Williams spoke on the issue of campaign finance reform.
“There is where I believe the genesis of corruption lies in Antigua & Barbuda and if you intend to take from the vultures that support both main political parties then there goes our demise,” he declared.
One young woman chose to speak about what she termed the failures of successive administrations to reform certain practices.
“We’ve heard over the years everybody speaking of change. We hear the word so many times. People say ‘I’m different’ and ‘it’s going to be different this time’ and ‘things are going to be better’. We’ve heard over and over,” she lamented. “What do you consider to be the key ingredient for true change?” she queried.
Another member of the audience – a middle aged gentleman – asked, “What do you intend to offer in terms of an economic plan that the people of Antigua & Barbuda will begin to see hope?”
He added, “We were promised integrity and accountability and all have died a natural death.”
Meantime, a woman who said she was married to a Jamaican man asked the politicians if they “have any plans other than promising passports for the non-nationals that are among us”.
Another man submitted a query on what the new party’s stance on the use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana would be, and whether the organisation would be in favour of decriminalising the use of the herb.
Numerous other questions on a range of subjects were directed at the founding members of the DNA who were present at the launch at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre, yesterday.

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