ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Barbadian pollster and political scientist Peter Wickham has responded to accusation of bias made against him recently by the Opposition Antigua Labour Party.
The ALP’s scathing attack on Wickham was in response to his comments that the party’s aged and ailing leader, Lester Bird should quit elective politics.
The ALP’s May 22 statement described Wickham’s remarks as deliberately aimed at undermining the party’s leadership.
But speaking with OBSERVER Media by telephone from Barbados, Wickham said he was not surprised by the ALP’s angry reaction.
“The strength of the aggression in the ALP’s response is not particularly surprising. I think, however, that in the aggression the Antigua Labour Party understands my intention, and if anything, I could be accused of being sympathetic to the Antigua Labour Party more than anything else.”
Wickham said this is because “Mr Bird leaving would be doing the Antigua Labour Party a favour. I suspect that deputy leader Gaston Browne, who led the party while Mr Bird was unable to gain his seat, might have a slightly different opinion – certainly if he was able to offer that opinion – because I think by suggesting that the party needs to return to the leadership of Mr Bird is itself an indictment on Mr Browne, on his capacity to take over that organisation eventually.”
Wickham stuck to his position that Bird is doing the ALP a disservice by clinging to the leadership, thereby hindering the party’s chances of regaining office.
The regional pollster said the latest round of condemnation will not deter him from co-operating with the ALP, should it contract him to conduct any polls or analyses.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)