By Makeida Antonio
The sitting Member of Parliament for St Peter, Asot Michael has declared his intention to run as an independent candidate in the next general elections.
Michael doubled down on his candidacy during an interview with state media as he walked through the constituency making home to home visits last weekend.
He disclosed the strong possibility of running for a fifth term – even on what he called “Asot Michael’s ticket”.
“I’m sure you would be aware that the Prime Minister says I’m not running under Labour Party, but we will see how that unfolds. Of course, there is a possibility that I would be running independent, especially since the Prime Minister has declared that I am not running on his ticket.
“Asot Michael shall be running in the next general elections and Asot Michael will win his seat resoundingly. The people of St. Peter are not stupid,” he declared.
On July 10, the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) held its General Convention where party members and supporters alike gathered to hear and approve revisions to the party’s Constitution and discuss plans ahead of the election date announcement.
Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max” Hurst told Observer hours before the Convention that revisions included changing the headquarters location and the frequency of hosting party conventions.
But, state media confirmed that a critical revision consisted of “giving the Central Executive the discretion to select election candidates using a method other than a primary” as well as accepting the findings of a report from the Suitability Committee which determined that Michael was not suited to run in the next general election.
This move has surely changed the game between the St Peter MP and the ABLP, as a part of the ruling handed down by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court stated that Michael’s fate would be determined until there are fresh actions/proceedings initiated and conducted in accordance with a revised ABLP constitution.
Prior to this ruling, Michael filed an injunction against the ABLP to prevent Rawdon Turner from becoming the party’s pick to represent St Peter as a candidate.
Michael responded to these developments by assuring his constituents that his display of “strong leadership” will continue after the last 18 years of being the St Peter representative in Parliament.
Additionally, the hopeful incumbent said he has gotten “extremely positive” feedback from St. Peter residents.