There has been much public discourse surrounding the fact that the United Progressive Party (UPP) has launched its election campaign before the election has been called.
The party is pre-empting the decision to call elections before they are constitutionally due next year not only because there have been hints that they will be called early, but also because in 2018 the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party government announced a snap election a year before schedule.
Yesterday, the UPP hit back at comments made by the ABLP’s Melford Nicholas who had accused the opposition of being “jumpy” by getting into campaigning mode early.
The UPP’s Deputy Chair Chester Hughes told the Observer AM show, “It’s laughable because Mr Nicholas sits in the government of which the Prime Minister makes the determination when is the election.
“If we had a fixed date for the election then we could appreciate Mr Nicholas’s response.”
On Thursday, Information Minister Nicholas, who is also the Cabinet spokesperson, was asked at a media briefing when the general election might be called. He said the UPP appears to be antsy, as the ABLP is confident of retaining the majority position in Parliament.
“I think the opposition party has become a bit jumpy because they’ve realised, if it’s one thing that they know, that the government has a stellar record of responding and providing responses to the development challenges that they are faced with,” Nicholas said.
On Wednesday, the UPP hosted a campaign pre-launch which revealed plans for the next general election, constitutionally due in 2023, as well as making its new website public.
And on Thursday night, the party’s official campaign launch took place during a drive-in rally at the Potters playing field where the official presentation of its 16 candidates was the main feature.