Thirteen candidates! What is the DNA’s plan?

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A shortened slate of candidates could potentially harm the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) chances of winning the March 21 general election.
That was the view expressed by two social commentators, Arvel Grant and Dr. Oswald Thomas, who appeared as guests on Sunday’s Big Issues programme. They were examining DNA’s chances of taking the reins of government with only 13 candidates.
Grant also suggested further that the party may have strategically placed its 13 candidates in constituencies that are likely to swing between the ruling Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) and the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).
While accepting that a political party only needs nine seats to win the government, Dr. Oswald Thomas, political analyst and former advisor with the ABLP, said a new party has a better fighting chance with a full slate of candidates.
“As a new political party, you want to come with all guns blazing, because your chances are slim and you want to take no chances as to what you want to leave out. The ones you leave out [the constituency] might be the ones that you might win,” Dr. Thomas said.
Thomas is of the view that party has to leave room for any eventuality. Arvel Grant, social and political commentator, also agreed with his colleague on the matter.
However, he went further to intimate that the DNA party may have used “the limited resources” it has in key areas.
“They may well have maximised any chance which they have by fielding candidates in a great number of the seats that are likely to swing between the political parties. Given the resources available they have fielded more than enough to win nine seats if that were to be the intention and the choice of the electorate,” Grant asserted.
Joanne Massiah, DNA leader, at one point, boasted that the DNA would be running candidates for “all 17 seats.” But when nomination day came, the DNA had no runners for St. Mary’s North, St. Phillip’s North, St. Peter, nor Barbuda.
Massiah has said while the party could have chosen anyone to fill the slate, they felt satisfied with the 13 political hopefuls who were eventuality chosen.

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