Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on the leaders of political parties in the nation to meet with him on Monday, October 9, to discuss the way forward for Barbuda with the aim of building broad consensus for restoration plans.
Antigua News Room (ANR) understands that Joanne Massiah, leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell were both invited.
Lovell accepted the invitation in a formal letter to the PM on the condition that head of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) Trevor Walker also be invited.
“The BPM represents the majority of elected members on the Barbuda Council and received 49% of the votes in Barbuda in the last general elections. Accordingly, any discussion on Barbuda aimed at building consensus must include the voice of the BPM,” Lovell stated.
It’s unclear if the prime minister has extended the invitation to Walker as requested.
Lovell also took the opportunity to correct the prime minister’s assertion in his invitation letter that the DNA had representation in Parliament through MP Massiah. Citing section 41 (1) (e) of the Constitution, Lovell noted that Massiah is to be considered an independent member of parliament.
“The DNA has never faced the polls. She (Massiah) was elected by virtue of being a member of the United Progressive Party,” he wrote.
Lovell also suggested that the “diversification of Barbuda’s economy” be added as an item on the agenda. He specifically wished to discuss strengthening of fishing and farming.
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