ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cries of disappointment echoed in the chamber of Parliament last evening as the dozens of residents who turned up for the debate on the no confidence motion in the prime minister failed to get the anticipated showdown.
Ill health by Leader of the Opposition Lester Bird, mover of the motion, made it impossible for him to attend the afternoon session, Bird’s colleague Gaston Browne said.
“Madam Speaker you may be aware that our political leader this afternoon, after a long session, was not feeling well and he indicated his desire to have this motion deferred to another sitting,” Browne informed the House.
However, Speaker of the House of Representatives D Gisele Isaac pointed members to the Standing Order relating to the issue.
She said, “With the mover of the motion not being here, this motion has been lost and so it can not be deferred; he will have to bring a new motion before the house at a later date.”
The entire matter wrapped up within three minutes as upon hearing the speaker’s ruling MP for St John’s City East Harold Lovell brought a motion for the sitting to be adjourned sine die (without setting a date).
Ahead of the vote, the ALP had expressed confidence that it would have been able to woo members from the other side. It was short two votes.
The opposition party based its no confidence bid on the controversial Wadadli Power Plant that the party alleges was fitted with old engines, contentious changes to the Representation of the People Act and removal of members from the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission.
Bird, 74, wanted the prime minister to step down within seven days.
Browne said the ALP was not disheartened despite what transpired.
“All is not lost,” Browne stated.
“Wilmoth Daniel did not show up and that clearly indicates that he does not have any confidence in the Baldwin Spencer administration.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)