With Nomination Day only 4 days away, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) last evening formally announced their latest candidates to contest the March 21 polls.
They DNA Leader Joanne Massiah and Bruce Goodwin.
Massiah was a foregone conclusion as the incumbent in the All Saints East and St. Luke constituency against challengers Senator Colin James (ABLP) and Jamal Pringle (UPP).
Goodwin is a former Ambassador to Cuba and also served as Deputy Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC).
He will contest against the incumbent Melford Nicholas and UPP leader Senator Harold Lovell.
With Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s announcement of a snap pressed the opposition parties to sure up their candidates and campaign strategy in light of a short campaign period.
DNA’s Deputy leader and candidate for Rural West Anthony Stuart said of the “thief in the night” elections that, “the Prime Minister saw that the DNA was growing rapidly in a matter of just 10 months and he’s fearful that had he waited the full term that the DNA would have won the elections.”
Unprecedented in the nation’s history, general elections will be held only 3 years, 9 months, 9 days into the term of a sitting administration.
“This is a haphazard way to conduct an election. Where’s the crisis and why the rush?” asked Stuart.
The deputy leader assured that the remaining five candidates have already given their commitment to the party to contest the elections.
“There is no guarantee in politics,” Stuart explained.
And the five prospective candidates work both in the public and private sectors. They are in the process of ensuring that they will not lose the benefits derived from their years of service.
The candidates, for fear of victimization, prefer not to present themselves to the public until that process is complete.
Asked what the DNA would do should the remaining five candidates for St Peter, St. Mary’s North and South, St. Phillip South and Barbuda not be able to present themselves come Nomination Day deadline 6pm he said, “we prefer to go forward with the 12 people of great character that we have at this time.”
“The people are understanding of the abnormal situation that exists with the Prime Minister calling elections so early,” and despite this setback, “we are confident that still have the numbers to form the next government.”