ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Social commentator Arvel Grant believes the disjointed press statements issued by varying Antigua Labour Party (ALP) MPs on their failure to move a highly anticipated vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer on Wednesday is an indication the party needs to examine its leadership structure.
Grant said the absence of a single, united statement on the matter ought to have been issued rather than the three separate statements from party leader Lester Bird, ALP chairman Gaston Browne and MPs Robin Yearwood and Molwyn Joseph, who issued a joint statement.
“I think the ALP needs to refurbish its leadership structure,” Grant said.
“It is beginning to look like a seven-headed hydra with different heads growing out of its forward section.”
Bird had disclosed the intention to move the motion in mid-April and it was expected to be debated this week as the party aimed to unseat PM Spencer in his second term in office.
However, it fell through after Bird became ill and did not return to Parliament for the afternoon session to begin the debate.
While Standing Order 31 makes provision for another MP to start the process in Bird’s absence, that provision was not utilised and the motion was abandoned, since it could not be deferred.
Grant premised his conclusion of disunity on the aforementioned developments.
“When something like this happens, you would expect the statement to come from the structural leadership of the party,” Grant said.
“Obviously, this is one source of fragmentation and irritation within the party that the whole institution would not frontally commit to the fullness of this no confidence motion.
“And because of that, that may be one reason why when the leader fell ill, no arrangements were put in place to lead the motion on his behalf.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)