In the spirit of open democracy and a commitment to serving the constituents of St Mary’s South, I, Samantha Marshall, representing the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), hereby challenge Kelvin Simon from the United Progressive Party (UPP) to a public debate. This debate aims to provide an opportunity for us to share and outline our plans and programs for the constituents, fostering transparency and enabling voters to make an informed decision.
Recent developments in the political landscape of Antigua and Barbuda have highlighted the importance of open discussions and the role of the people as trustees of the Constitution. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sir Gerald Watt KC, who previously led a public debate regarding Mr Simon’s inability to resign, has now changed his position, which may trigger the possibility of a by-election. This realisation serves as a valuable lesson for all, especially the Speaker, emphasising the need for thorough consideration of the law and matters at hand before leading public debates.
Given the potential by-election, albeit subject to the outcome of the petition before the High Court, it is crucial that both Mr Simon and I allow the people to hear, examine, and question our records and plans for the constituency of St Mary’s South. This public debate will provide a platform for constituents to engage directly with us, understand our visions, and assess our capabilities.
We propose that this significant event be organised by the National Youth Parliament Association of Antigua and Barbuda, a representative body comprising youth across the political divide. The involvement of our young citizens is vital as they represent the future and need to understand the issues affecting our constituency and nation. Moreover, we believe that conducting the debate in St Mary’s South will facilitate maximum participation from a cross-section of the constituency. By bringing the discussion directly to the constituents, we demonstrate our commitment to serving their interests and fostering a sense of inclusivity.
Therefore, let us present ourselves before the constituents, answer their questions, and provide them with a clear understanding of our plans and programs. Together, we can honour the values of democracy while showing our competence to serve, ensuring a brighter future for St Mary’s South.