By Shermain Bique-Charles
Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell said news of the death of one the party’s former candidates has shaken the party, irrespective of the fact that the politician had been ailing for over a year.
Michael Burton reportedly died of heart failure yesterday while receiving treatment in the United States for an undisclosed illness.
“This news has shaken the party in a very serious way because we were all hoping and praying for his recovery,” Lovell told Observer media.
The UPP leader disclosed that from all reports, Burton was in a stable condition, however the situation unexpectedly took a turn for the worse.
“Michael started to suffer symptoms of illness over one year ago, and there were great difficulties in nailing down the precise diagnosis. He suffered a lot in Antigua, and in hospital in the US, and the updates all indicated that he was stable, and so we were hoping for the best. Unfortunately, it has come to the worst. This is indeed a sad loss for us,” Lovell said.
Burton, according to Lovell, was deeply loved by everyone, and he described the deceased as one who had a likeable personality.
“He was a team player; he always went out of his way to ensure he looked out for his colleagues … he did everything to make certain that the UPP would be a force to be reckoned with. It is a sad and difficult time. We will miss him. He was such a loving person. He would always empathise with those in need,” Lovell recalled.
“He always looked on the brighter side and always offered a word of encouragement. He would call me to ask how I am doing. He would pass by. We would have lunch. He was always interested in how we could improve the operations of the party and how we could do things more effectively.”
The former UPP candidate for the St John’s City South Constituency contested the 2018 General Elections and lost..
Burton, who was among the first batch of UPP candidates announced for the upcoming general elections constitutionally due in 2023 was relieved of the responsibilities of candidacy owing to reasons of ill health.
Educated in Antigua and the United States, Burton holds a degree in Business and is a veteran of the US Army, having served in Iran and Kuwait.
Burton who was 44 years old, is survived by his wife, three sons, and other family members, friends and colleagues.