ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Hilson Baptiste has given early indication that he intends to contest the St Mary’s South constituency, for which he is the incumbent, in the next general elections, in spite of the challenges to his health.
Elections are constitutionally due by March 2014.
Baptiste, 64, is recovering from surgery for an enlarged prostate, which kept him away from parliamentary and ministerial duties for some time.
On his return to the House of Representatives yesterday, after his absence from the two previous sittings, the MP, who has represented St Mary’s South for three consecutive terms, said he intends to seek a fourth term in office.
“I never ran in St Mary’s South, I walked. I never really had any opponent to worry about. St Mary’s South would remain with the United Progressive Party,” Baptiste said in a short statement.
“Don’t worry about St Mary’s South, it is solid and sound, and I am ready to go,” he added.
The veteran politician who heads the Ministry of Housing and Social Transformation thanked his colleague MPs “for their prayers and support and others who prayed for him and sent best wishes.”
“I’m glad I’m back before the budget presentation so that I could truly represent my constituency and the ministry which I manage.
“I lost quite a bit of weight and so I’m getting fitter and stronger than when I got ill,” he said.
Minister of Finance and Economy Harold Lovell has said the budget will be presented December 1.