Asot Michael welcomes injunction against ABLP


Government legislator Asot Michael on Wednesday welcomed the ruling by a High Court granting him an injunction against the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), that is seeking to take disciplinary action against him.

“I am very very happy that the judge ruled in our favour to grant the restriction. No further action can be taken by the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party in terms of proceeding to set up the tribunal, which is really and clearly illegal and unconstitutional and not set up properly according to the constitution of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party,” Michel told reporters as he emerged from the High Court building.

The ABLP has been seeking to punish Michael for violating the party’s Code of Ethics, but the High Court ruled that there was no basis to challenge the validity of the tribunal’s action, citing that the application did not qualify as a public matter.

As a result, Michael’s attorney, Hugh Marshall Jr. will now have to submit a private claim to support the case of his client

In his arguments before the High Court, Marshall Jr., contended that the tribunal had no legal standing and is therefore incapable of deliberating the issues related to his client before or handing down a decision.

“We always knew that there were two schools of thought whether the application fell in the ambit of public law or private law and there were arguments put forward by my lawyer that the law has evolved in the Caribbean that political parties and members of political parties also hold public offices so that you cant bring application for a private entity, which is not a public body like the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party which we sought to do”.

Michael said further that his attorney has made an application for leave for judicial review and “I think the judge went more with the conservative view in England that there are private clubs.”

The application was made against the ABLP chairperson, Mary Claire Hurst and a date for the case management conference will be given after Michael’s team files the appropriate claim within seven days.

A written copy of the judgement will be made available later on Wednesday.

On November 2, Michael filed the application asking that the tribunal take corrective action or stop from proceeding with any action against him. In the application, the St. Peter Member of Parliament argued that the tribunal was unlawfully constituted and that its decision to take action against him was tainted with bias.

In addition, he also argued that the actions of the ruling party breached his constitutional rights. He also sought compensation, which the court did not grant.

Earlier this year, a war of words broke out between Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Michael with Browne saying that he was distancing himself “from the behaviour” of the legislator.

In September, both men took to the airwaves almost simultaneously to put forward their position with Browne saying “as the leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) I completely 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 and Barbuda Labour Party”.

Browne has promised that Michael, who was re-elected to Parliament on an ABLP ticket in the 2018 general election, “will be subjected to disciplinary action at some point.”

But Michael told radio listeners that he was born in the “bowels” of the ruling party, long before Prime Minister Browne became associated with the party.

He said that Prime Minister Browne, whom he had played a pivotal role in getting the leadership of the party, and ultimately the position of the prime minister “is ungrateful.”

“Don’t try to push me out of the institution I was born into,” Michael said on Observer Radio.

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    • Mary this issue does not turn on guilt or innocence. It is not a criminal matter and I wondered why it went to court in the first place in the way it did. The ALP needs to get its Red House in order so the Tribunal can do its work, if that is the approach they wish to pursue.

  1. Who authored the letter?

    Why is it the opposition keep letting these low hanging fruits go to waste?

    Something smells fishy….

  2. Really would like to hear the leaders of the opposition parties take on this. An opportunity to score some points

    • Can’t curse the hand that could feed you in more ways than one!!!!.

      Anyway the PM already signal he cutting rates on government rentals so I hope those big figures the said Minister gets for the Lower Nevis Street and Lower High street properties will be reduced or a long term bond will be issued in lieu of rent payable….

  3. Implosion? I seriously doubt that!! Those who are pinning their hopes on that outcome clearly do not know the fierce tenacity and resilience our the Prime Minister. The removal of one or two odd balls from the ranks of the ABLP, whether by WILL or by FORCE can only serve the best interests of the party both in the short and long run. In the meantime, I urge ALL Antiguans, the descendants of the 1834 liberated generation to determine NOW wherein lies your loyalty. Remember, the ASS is just the beginning!

  4. The convention will be the downfall of Gaston Browne. A birdie’s wings are flapping from the nest. Asot is waiting to strike. Time to put brakes on the Gas. When you feel that your bigger than the country. The country always reminds you that you’re not. Spencer is the perfect example when he made the comment “they serve at my pleasure.”

  5. Frankly, this is non issue and this rotten mango feels caused he have money he can do as he likes but sooner or later” Crapo smokes he pipe”. Cavalier no easy..

  6. The poor we have with us always. The order and nature of things. Everyone can’t have money so they could fight their own battles and don’t have to worry about who love them and who don’t. It is a given. Poor people must stay poor. They have a major role to play. Don’t understand why they don’t use their veto more. After all there are so many of them. The answer might be that the rich keep them sedated by convincing them they too can get rich and rise about their station. They encourage them to try to move up. Poor fools.

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