Could be on the cards for 2026 and beyond
By Arvel Grant, Political and current Affairs Analyst
(Read more of Arvel’s analytical pieces on arvelgrant.com and [email protected])
Through the 1980s and into the 1990s, opposition parties in Antigua-Barbuda struggled against the election’s machinery of the labour Party. Indeed, between1989 and 1994, Mr. Spencer and the then representative from Barbuda, were the lone voices on the opposition benches. It took the strength of character and union-honed skills of Mr. spencer to bring the very splintered parts of the opposition parties together into what we now know as the UPP. The united opposition (eventually) rested political power from the Alp after almost 30 years, culminating with the Baldwin Spencer led administration taking office in 2004; Bearly hanging on for a second term, losing to the labour party in 2014.
Given the dominant electoral performance, of the Gaston Browne led ABlP since 2014, it may require a strong united and sustained opposition to rest political power from the labour party in the foreseeable future.
Since its high-point in 2004, the UPP has been losing popular support at each general elections: 21,892 in 2004, 21,239 in 2009, 17,868 in 2014 and 14,440 in 2018.
To add insult to injury, in 2018, the UPP narrowly held on to a single seat (all Saints East and St Luke’s) . A constituency which the party seized from Ms Jo-Anne Massiah, whom the UPP expelled from its ranks after Team Massiah, disputed the conduct of the Party’s leadership elections; Following its 2014 defeat at the hands of the labour party.
As the UPP continues to loos popular support at successive General elections, Many believe that thousands of the party’s supporters, are angry with the UPP because of how badly Massiah and her supporters were treated.
In the meantime, the Government, and the people of Antigua-Barbuda, have been able to achieve better than 62% vaccination rate, against the COVID virus, among the highest in the Caribbean and other developing countries.
This achievement allows the (cautious) reopening of the economy, with the prospect of normalization, barring outbreak of a more infectious and deadly strain of the COVID virus, in the foreseeable future.
As Antigua-Barbuda prepares for general elections, due by 2023, but expected any time now, the opposition parties appear as splintered, as they were during the 1980s and into the 1990s.
This writer believes that only a: Carefully crafted, legally binding and well publicized collaboration agreement between the main opposition parties (including the BPM, DNA and UPP, offers any reasonable chance, of restoring meaningful multi-party parliamentary democracy, in Antigua-Barbuda. That then offers the possibility of victory for the opposition forces, 5 or 10 years down the road.
It is my considered opinion, that, there is definitely not enough time (to the next general elections) for the parties to: Build trust, agree a framework for negotiations, Negotiate and sell meaningful policy compromises to their supporters; agree leadership structures (with multiple deputy political leaders) Share constituency allocations; Design a joint manifesto, Agree ministerial allocations (in case of victory at the polls) and calibrate campaign messaging. Of course, none of that will happen until “the boss lady sings”
Furthermore, any meaningful alliance among Antigua-Barbuda’s opposition parties, will need at least 3-5 years to jell. Remember that the first UPP administration descended into dramatic and disturbing in-fighting at the level of Cabinet after only a few months in office, even though the party had more than 10 years to “jell”
Walk good until next time,
Arvel Grant, Political and Current Affairs Analyst
Authorized for publication without changes or modifications- All rights reserved
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That’s a shame, because tactically both of these parties could have beaten the ABLP whilst contesting constituencies.
For instance, the strongest party could stand, while the other steps aside giving the coalition more chance of defeating the ABLP at the elections.
Anyway, all the best UPP … ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!
Any chance the party has of going “onwards and upwards” can only happen WHEN HAROLD LoveLIE IS GONE!
“LOVELL IS A SPENT FORCE” point. Blank. Period!!!
ARVEL.GRANT..Totally in AGREEMENT with You.
ABLP. 17 SEATS
UPP. .. 00 SEATS ( 6 CANDIDATES will lose Their Deposits)
DNA. …00. SEATS ( ALL CANDIDATES WILL LOSE THEIR DEPOSITS)
BARBUDA. 00. SEAT
Total LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR ABLP
This is getting serious my UPP Brothers and Sisters. Everyone cannot be wrong. I am appealing to the Executives of UPP to have a serious meeting with Harold and really lay the cards on the table. We are fighting a LOSING battle. All the Professionals plus Persons on the ground are saying that with Harold at the HELM of UPP We shall definitely lose the election. It is not to late. There is NO WAY that We can enter the next election with Harold at the HELM. Have a serious talk with DNA. Please please.
Yup. It’s too bad for the UPP that they are scared of HUMILITY + INTROSPECTION. Truly delusional and overestimating their importance/viability.
Joanne Massiah was right “UPP still playing from the SAME OLD playbook”
Nothing new or innovative. Just a dying/dead party with a WASHED-UP has-been who has been “beaten with many stripes” and BLUDGEONED our economy to near death.
What a fatal error he chose to make when he badplayed Joanne Massiah for party leadership. WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND LoveLIE
ATTENTION UPP, DNA, BPM
United we stand and win – Divided we fall and lose
STOP your self-centered infighting.
This isn’t about YOU… it’s about the good of the country.
If you’re so immature that you are unable to rise above yourself, then get OUT OF POLITICS.
NO ONE in their right mind wants to YOKE themselves to DEADBEAT LOVELL! You nah see who much people done leave and jump arf de SKINKING SHIP??
NO ONE in their right mind wants to YOKE themselves to an overt dictator either!
That is exactly why they left the UPP. Gisele Isaac via Lovell DICTATED everything. Down to the choice of tie colour for the male candidates. That is why there was a MASS EXODUS from the UPP. They cannot deal with the dictatorship of Gisele/Harold. A she CONTROL Lovell.
Jard,you are correct I have been preaching from day one. Harold has too steep of a mountain to climb to win His seat. UPP need to do INTROSPECTION. Also I have question marks against this slate of Candidates. UPP Candidates for 2023 are much weaker than 2018. These slate of Candidates have too Many BAGGAGE
LOSERS ,CRIMINALS ,DEPORTEES ,MURDERER ,THIEVES.
What “baggage” are you referring to? What you and the people see as baggage, Lovell sees as attractive qualities.
SHERFIELD BOWEN would make an excellent Minister of Gender Affairs. Ian Magic Hughes can be a Junior Minister in that area.
This is the high-level thinking of the UPP. You are clearly not on their level
UPP cannot be serious when They select the following to run on Their ticket for election 2023.
SERFIELD BOWEN ( FAR TOO MUCH BAGGAGE )
Harold Lovell ( STILL AT THE HELM)
“Many believe that thousands of the party’s supporters, are angry with the UPP because of HOW BADLY MASSIAH and her supporters were treated.”
YOU SAID IT. A dangerous, deadly, weak, power-hungry, desperate political skettel who stopped at nothing to secure leadership of the party. He didn’t remember that “what a man sows that shall he also reap” Lovell, you can’t expect to plant seeds of badmind and deceit and reap a healthy, united, strong political fruit.
When you are finally forced into retirement by Melford Nicholas, take the time to be quiet with yourself and have an HONEST reflection of your life and the choice you made. Be sure to ask yourself “HOW COULD I HAVE FOOLED MYSELF FOR ALL THESE YEARS? HOW COULD I ALLOW GISELE TO BRAINWASH ME AND CONTROL ME SO BADLY? AM I TOO OLD TO GO BUNGY JUMPING NOW?”
I have been reading a poll by Eric ( The Red), Is this Guy a POLLSTER ? Hope someone can assist. Because this does not look good for UPP. Hope Someone can help.
In 2004 the country was in much of the same mess as we are in now when the leader was so crazy with money worries that he too was cussing everybody. When he reached so far to cuss the Lord’s anointed, his time had come to go!
That is when Jiggy-poo-poo became the person everyone was ready to vote for just to get free from the burdensome cussing, bad treatment, money shortage, foreign money people control, land theft and conversion, rumors of child molestation by a leader, money-laundering, and all things evil!
Yeah we know by now that those “rumours” were orchestrated by the UPP. This is why Lovell Limpy Joe King Lyadd is suffering so badly now. When you have a KILLER and CONVICTED PEDOPHILE front and center in your party, that speaks volumes about you.
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