St Peter MP Asot Michael has again made public his intention to challenge Prime Minister Gaston Browne for leadership of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).
Speaking on Observer’s Snakepit programme on Saturday, Michael called on Browne to immediately call a convention as he shared his disappointment with the PM.
“If it was not for Asot Anthony Michael, he would never, ever become political leader of the Labour party, much less prime minister. The guy is ungrateful,” Michael charged.
“Yes, he cemented his position in Antigua, no problem, but don’t try to push me out of an institution I was born into.”
Michael, responding to recent claims that the ABLP was set to announce a replacement candidate for the St Peter seat, continued, “Gaston Browne cannot push me out of the Labour party. I will challenge him. Tell him, call a convention. If he’s man enough, call a convention and let me challenge him within the Labour party. He doesn’t want to do that. He wants to kick me out … but if he does that, I will run independent and show Gaston Browne that the people of St Peter have loved me.”
Michael also criticised Browne for the manner in which he relates to his regional colleagues, claiming a number of Caribbean leaders either think Browne is “condescending” and has a “chip on his shoulder”, or shun him completely.
Meanwhile, Browne hinted on Saturday that Michael could be disciplined.
“I distance myself from the behaviour of Asot Michael,” he told local radio. “It’s almost on a weekly basis now that he finds someone to abuse. If it’s not the Chief Magistrate, it’s the Speaker of the House. Now me today; I don’t know who it will be tomorrow.
“I distance myself from his behaviour and I want to remind him publicly that that type of rotten behaviour is unacceptable and he is not beyond the constitution of the Antigua Labour Party and he will be subjected to disciplinary action at some point.”
Browne added, “I personally will take him before the disciplinary tribunal of the Antigua Labour Party at the appropriate time. So if he thinks he can abuse myself and others with impunity and run on a Labour Party ticket, we will see.”