Is it time for the ABLP to select a new leader?

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Dear Editor,

The ABLP has already had a pretty rough start to 2023.

Under the leadership of Gaston Browne the ABLP made a gaffe in the January 18th elections. The ABLP ended up winning but with less votes than the combined opposition.  This means that the majority of Antiguans and Barbudans actually voted to put the combined opposition in power. This fact cannot be overlooked. The leaders of the ABLP should consider this fact.

Gaston Browne stood center stage in the January 2023 elections even though his popularity had fallen greatly from the 2018 elections. His unpopularity was very evident in the St Peter constituency. He spent a lot of time, money and other resources in that community. The incumbent, Asot Michael got more votes in the 2023 elections than he ever did in his entire political career. The people of St Peter reflected the national mood against Gaston Browne’s presence within their community. He was not wanted, they revolted against him and went to the polls determined to get him out. This is the first time in the history of politics in our fair Antigua and Barbuda that labour lost the St Peter seat!! Gaston has turned many “safe” labour seats into marginal seats.

The polls done by Peter Wickham were never shared with senior members of the party. Gaston kept the scientific polls to himself and refused to discuss strategies based on the scientific polling with members of his team. Where in the world does this level of hubris and nonsense happen?

Gaston’s behavior and his overall weakness has led to a rout of the  ABLP’s support that dropped to a mind blowing loss of 12% of the vote in the 2023 elections. This begs the most obvious of questions?

Does the ABLP need a new Leader”?

Members of our party are now wondering whether it might be time for the ABLP to find a new leader. Many comrades are whispering this sentiment but no one raises it publicly because Gaston “will mashup eberything if them try move me”

The cabinet members, including the party executive, must ask: is Gaston the right person to run the country, or is it time for Gaston to stand down to avoid a catastrophe at the next poll, or even worse; Mashup the ABLP!! Does Gaston’s temperament allow for great leadership and good governance? Does the ABLP need a less self-centered and more charismatic leader? Someone with a clearer vision for the party and the government;

If the executive and grassroots members of the ABLP are not satisfied with the status quo, then they are gonna have to be willing to break some eggs and rebuild; or face the dreaded consequences of going into opposition.

After a fluke win in the January 2023 elections; is the ABLP willing to take courage and change leadership at the next convention or risk the people of Antigua and Barbuda sending the entire party into opposition. The party will choose or the people will choose!!

It must be noted that Gaston has been critical in the ABLP’s ascent to victory in the 2014 and 2018 elections — which is why he is still in charge. His antics were well received by the people. However, the people have now matured past those antics, seen his weaknesses and no longer have confidence in him.

Yet as Antigua and Barbuda enters into a new era — where Gaston’s dominance over the party and government is being challenged by the newly energized UPP and the likes of Asot Michael — many are wondering whether the ABLP needs a more dynamic action man, action plan, new vision and better direction.

The ABLP should not drag its feet. The upcoming party convention should be allowed to answer these important questions. The botched 2023 elections and lack of action by Gaston that caused this failure are symptoms of a bigger disease — a party entrapped in its past, dishonesty in informing the executives of the party on the results of the polls leading up to the 2023 election, and missed opportunities.

The ABLP must post the poll done before the 2023 elections or do a new poll that asks whether the party needs a new Leader.

Support for the ABLP has fallen by double digit figures. If this continues the ABLP shall certainly fail.

This is a call-to-action to those who love the labour party to do the right things for the party of VCBIRD!

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