OBSERVER: It could be approximately two weeks before a final decision is made on who will replace United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St Mary’s South, Corthwright Marshall.
The party’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Damani Tabor made the revelation while speaking about a recent letter to Marshall – which was leaked to Observer – that advised Marshall that due to his failing health, the UPP hierarchy has decided to find a replacement to contest the upcoming general elections in the St Mary’s South Constituency.
This is despite Marshall apparently insisting he was strong enough to run against the incumbent Samantha Marshall of the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), and Andrew Antonio, the candidate for the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).
According to Tabor, that final decision will take more than a few days to be ratified.
He explained on the Observer AM show that the UPP’s General Council will have to meet and it would be up to the members to determine what direction the party will take regarding this matter.
“Ultimately, the General Council, which is the highest decision-making body outside of the convention, is who ratifies any new candidates, or they could even go in a different direction or whatever the case may be. I cannot say definitively who all the contenders are as the political leader [Harold Lovell] is currently engaged.
“He [Lovell] is a consultative guy and wants everybody to be affirmed and involved going through the process of meetings. It’s a dynamic process and I cannot speak precisely to where we are. In terms of when the General Council [meets], that meeting is on the 21st so that’s Sunday after next. So, certainly by then after that Sunday, by the next day, we will to tell the public what’s our final position,” Tabor explained.
While the missive to Marshall did not disclose the specific condition afflicting him, it alluded to the fact he had been hospitalised at least three times and may be seeking treatment in New York or Barbados.
Tabor, however, confirmed that several meetings had been held with the St Mary’s South branch office, but was tight-lipped on whether or not the branch supported the removal of Marshall from the UPP slate.
“I can advise that meetings with the branch did take place, for example, with the political leader and a contingent of people who I don’t quite recall exactly … but I can’t speak to what was said and what the responses are. I can’t speak to the substance of the discussions of the meeting, but what I do want to speak to is the political leader’s commitment to having a process that is affirming of the perspectives of all people, a process that recognises the value of all people and that tries to ensure that, whatever the outcome, everybody will be able to participate in redeeming Antigua and Barbuda and will be able in government to serve,” he added.
Marshall unsuccessfully contested the St Mary’s South seat for the UPP when he ran against Marshall in the 2018 general election.
When contacted by Observer, Marshall said the matter was private and he would not be making a public statement on it.