ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Even as Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer downplays the absence of MP Willmoth Daniel from Parliament Wednesday, when a no confidence motion was expected against the country’s leader, political analyst Peter Wickham has suggested it’s time Daniel gets the boot.
Reacting to MP Daniel’s non-attendance, PM Spencer chuckled.
“Well he was absent and from time to time you do have individuals who may not be able to be involved in a particular sitting,” the nation’s leader said.
“I can not say what is the reason because I didn’t receive any. Yes, it certainly was an important sitting, but I think the individual may be better able to explain what might have been his rationale for not being present.”
On the other hand Wickham said Daniel’s departure is long overdue.
“To be quite honest many people question the reason why he has not been dismissed as yet and my feeling is that I think ultimately it will come to it,” Wickham said.
“I think (PM Spencer) has given (MP Daniel) a very long leash to hang himself. … Perhaps he should have been fired a while ago.”
At the same time the political analyst said he appreciates the prime minister’s “cautious” style of dealing with the issue, which is in keeping with his usual characteristics.
Social commentator Arvel Grant, who shares similar views, believes the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) administration needs to do everything it can to maintain numbers in Parliament, given the thin 9-7 majority it has.
However, Grant said it has become increasingly obvious that Daniel is unreliable when it comes to standing in solidarity with the UPP.
The commentator said Daniel’s action, of lack thereof on Wednesday, might have tightened the political noose around his neck and he “may be very, very close to having to jump if he is not pushed out of the party.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)