Ruling party reacts to Shugy’s resignation

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ABLP Chairman Chet Greene (Facebook photo)
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Samantha Marshall confirmed as ABLP choice for St Mary’s South by-election

By Shermain Bique-Charles

[email protected]

Prime Minister Gaston Browne claims the UPP’s Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon “took the easy way out” by quitting as MP of the St Mary’s South constituency.

The ABLP leader told Observer that Simon’s decision to step down was an “acknowledgement of his violation of the electoral rules”.

Simon resigned from his Parliamentary position yesterday, a month before the next hearing of a court matter that challenges his nomination.

“He also recognises that he does not have the capacity to serve the people of St Mary’s South at the level of the Parliament,” Browne said in a WhatsApp message to Observer on Wednesday.

“The ABLP will contest the by-election vigorously and we are confident that Sen Samantha Marshall, based on her experience and competence, will be returned as the representative of St Mary’s South,” he added.

Meanwhile, ABLP Chairman Chet Greene confirmed that Marshall will indeed remain the party’s choice to contest the seat during the upcoming poll which by law must be held within 120 days.

First-time politician Simon claimed victory over Marshall in the January 18 general election by almost 200 votes.

Greene said, however, the ABLP is confident that Marshall will reclaim the seat.

“She is clearly the ABLP’s choice of candidate. As a party, we have persons every day offering themselves in all the constituencies but Marshall is our choice. She continues to serve the government in the Upper House and as the Leader of Government Business in the Senate. So, you see she was kept and is being groomed,” Greene said.

He claimed despite the defeat at the last polls, the people of St Mary’s South will make a different choice this time around.

“I am confident that the people of St Mary’s South had a chance to see Marshall at work and Shugy at work.

“The people would have had a chance to discern the issues going to the last general elections…the soundbites and promises were many and now they have a chance to see who can deliver and who really has delivered,” he said.

Simon said in a press statement on Wednesday that it was unfair to the people of St Mary’s South to have the uncertainty of a protracted legal battle hanging over their heads and that the situation needed to be promptly resolved. He added that he wanted the final decision to be made by the people, not the court.

But Greene claimed Simon’s resignation was indicative of a man who had failed to properly represent his constituents in Parliament.

“He took a position to jump before the court declared a position…I think he realised he had no chance with the legal matter.

“I think it goes deeper. I watched him and his delivery in Parliament with the bills and I could see his discomfort…He was not able to make a contribution. I think he realises Parliament is not a popularity contest,” the ABLP party chairman and Foreign Minister added.

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