Shugy hits out at ‘smear campaign’ as PM pledges legal action over St Mary’s South seat

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It appears that the courts could be used in addition to the polls to fight the upcoming general election as another legal action looms.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne told Observer that the ruling Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is poised to legally challenge the United Progressive Party’s (UPP) Kelvin “Shugy” Simon should he win the St Mary’s South seat.

Simon – who holds a position in the Ministry of Education as a professional guidance counsellor – has come under fire from the ABLP for being nominated while working as a civil servant.

Within hours of his official nomination, a letter sent to the Electoral Commission by law firm Marshall and Company pointed out that being a civil servant disqualifies a person from becoming a member of the House of Representatives under the Civil Service Act.

It claims Simon was not duly nominated, despite the fact he would only become an official member of the House after being elected.

Simon and the UPP hit back by saying there is no such restriction on being nominated, and accused the government of a “smear campaign” to deter people from voting for him.

“Already papers are being prepared so that in the unlikely event he was to win, those papers will be filed the following day. So, in effect, the UPP has basically forfeited a seat,” PM Browne said.

However, Simon told Observer, “We expected the Labour party to come with that. It’s something that we discussed. We are not worried; it’s just a smear campaign in my opinion. They are good at that.

“They know that they are going to lose that seat so they are trying everything to throw mud at me so that it can look as if people are going to be wasting their vote or whatever they want to call it, but we know we are rightfully within our legal rights and we are doing everything that is right.

“We are not worried at all, one bit or the other.”

Simon added that he will tender his resignation from the Ministry of Education imminently.

The UPP is also adamant that Simon can legitimately run for the seat. In a release last week, the UPP outlined that Simon was legally nominated pointing to Section. 39. 1. of the country’s Constitution which states:

“No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House who …  (g) holds or is acting in any public office or in the office of judge of the Supreme Court or Ombudsman or is a member of the Constituencies Boundaries Commission, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, the Public Service Commission or the Police Service Commission….”

The party drew attention to the word “elected,” noting that there is no prohibition on nomination.

The UPP also acknowledged the Civil Service Rule which states that a public servant cannot run for elections unless he first resigns from the service.

However, the party holds that this section is unconstitutional.

The Prime Minister’s threats of possible legal action came a day after newly nominated independent candidate Asot Michael threatened to go to the courts and hold persons in contempt of court after Rawdon Turner was officially nominated as the ABLP’s candidate for St Peter.

Incumbent St Peter MP Michael, who has a long-standing affiliation with the party prior to a major fallout, claims the ABLP contravened its own constitution.

SOURCE: Observer

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16 COMMENTS

  1. The UPP and the ABLP are the same. The law is used how they want it. And Twisted to their convenience. Now we Antigua people know this. MORE INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES go come. NEXT TIME is No Jokers COMING AS INDEPENDENT cause Government workers not missing no links. WE KNOW HOW TO RUN OUR MINISTRY.

  2. @ Gaston

    Hope you filed papers against Turner too for the 19th January 2023

  3. Wow! Gaston ‘Wotless’ Browne trying to pursue more litigation matters instead of dealing with rising crime, rising prices, the failing economy, and a raft of problems still plaguing the country that is on the verge of spiralling out of control.

    WHY HE DON’T DO THE SAME WITH ASOT MICHAEL, WHO DO HIM WORSE?

    I wish I could vote ❎ tomorrow! 🗳

  4. What is the relationship between APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON and the NAZARENE CHURCH?
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH
    APOSTLE SHUGY SIMON & NAZARENE CHURCH

    • Gaston would be going to Court? The same Gaston Browne who did not abide by the Court’s ruling in the Asot Michael matter. He would be going to said Court to seek redress.Give me a damn break.

  5. These ppl cannot be serious look at what they are bodly doing Asot now crying like a bunch of losing babies. Come een January 18

  6. Mister Prime Minister you are too lie.

    you have claimed that you will win ALL 17 seats, therefore you shouldn’t be worrying about Shuggy and his seat because him and UPP will lose their seats.

    Just goes to show that all this time you were lying about winning all seats…..if YOU LOOK SHARP, you may very well LOSE ALL 17!!!

  7. King Lyadd Lovell Limpy Joe IMF Pimp ROMANTIC RHYTHMS WADADLI POWER CAN’T ABST HOTEL RIPOFF ABIB COLLAPSER BANKING-SECTOR COLLAPSER ANTI-UWI FIVE ISLANDS CAMPUS BAICO COLLAPSER etc etc ….

  8. Young man. As a lay person your nomination is legal. If I was you I would send in a letter to the appropriate authorities giving them notification that you will resign from your position effective what ever date of your choosing. The SOONER THE BETTER.

    Announce to your constituents that you have done so and remove any doubt in their minds that you are ALL IN.

    Labour looking for any reason to cast doubt that your nomination was illlegal. As the Constitution says you cannot be elected while being an active Civil Servant.

    Many examples are there for you to reference. Guy Yearwood comes to mind.

    Good luck to you and put a whopping on the SEASON RICE LOVER!!!!!

  9. Side note: The BIG RED MACHINE running low on diesel and the RADIATA about to SEIZE UP from lack of coolant(WATA).

    Mr. Simon, UPP. Do not give them any reason to find DIESEL OR WATA! This MACHINE must seize up with a BIG BLUE WAVE of seawata!

  10. Tell Gaston to study Asot and the judge and leave Mr Simon alone. I just heard that another plane has come in from Nigeria!!! I am very alarmed at this! A lot of other Antiguans are alarmed at this also! What the heck is going on in this country?!! Is anyone vetting these people?! Do they have to submit police records to make sure they are on the up and up? We are a small country and we cannot handle this large influx of persons coming in who are obviously looking for help. My God, help please Antigua?!!! Mark my words, America and other regional governments are watching. If this continues, we will face serious repercussions! Mark my words!!

  11. Bwoy Gaston, you fraid bad. It don’t pay to be horrible.. time longer than rope, it’s just a matter of time. Don’t try any bobol with them Africans..we have watch dog on you tail and we will throw you in jail. Don’t let desperation get you in trouble top dawg, dictator, desperado, gassy Browne and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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