ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ALP) on Tuesday rejected as “completely farcical and politically-motivated” a call by Barbadian political scientist Peter Wickham for its leader Lester Bird to resign.
On Monday, Wickham advised Bird to set off on a different path, but not in politics.
“I really don’t think it is good for the Antigua Labour Party and I really don’t think it is good for him to be pursuing office at that stage,” Wickham said.
An opposition response read: “The ALP rejects the so-called advice of Peter Wickham as being deliberately aimed at undermining the leadership of the ALP, which is a repeat of his efforts in the run-up to the 2009 general elections.”
The ALP said this is not the first time that Wickham made “equally offensive” statements about the party, pointing to the 2009 general elections that despite similar remarks saw Bird re-elected to the Rural East constituency.
According to the ALP release, there have been repeated examples in the world when leaders in Mr Bird’s age group have held leadership positions, including the late St Lucia leader, 82-year-old John Compton.
“The ALP has come to the conclusion that Wickham and his backers are determined to destroy the ALP, to undermine the ALP’s drive to re-capture the government from Mr Baldwin Spencer and the UPP, and that these pronouncements are aimed at shaping the outcome of the upcoming general elections, slated for 2014,” the release stated.
“There is nothing of value which Peter Wickham and the UPP could sensibly offer to the ALP in the form of advice,” the statement added.
The ALP also said it would continue to observe the long established procedures – the ALP convention in determining its candidates and leaders.
The party expressed pleasure with the leadership of Bird adding, “The people of Antigua and Barbuda will be even more pleased when the Honourable Lester Bird returns to the helm of Government, after 2014 or sooner.”