ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The recently named Antigua Labour Party (ALP) caretaker for St John’s Rural West said his candidacy in the next general election would be an “appraisal” of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer’s performance as the constituency representative.
Londel Benjamin was confirmed as caretaker candidate by the ALP executive at a meeting Friday night, which also officially accepted the resignation of former caretaker Gail Christian.
“My first approach, I will be presenting his appraisal. You give a man a job, you have to appraise him and his marks are very low,” Benjamin said in an interview with OBSERVER media yesterday.
The accountant by profession said the prime minister, who has represented St John’s Rural West continually since 1989, has done nothing to develop the community.
“I am from the area and I am not happy at all with the present situation and appearance there,” he said. “I have been voicing this opinion for years and nothing has been done for the past nine years.”
Benjamin said his initial goals, if elected, would be to increase the level of social transformation and healthcare in the constituency.
Christian resigned via letter on September 20, when she said the ideals that currently govern the ALP have “morphed significantly” from what she recognised as its core principles.
Despite the controversy, which surrounded Christian stepping away from the party, Benjamin said he does not see that as a black mark on his candidacy.
Known for his work with the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), having served as its treasurer, Benjamin is also treasurer of the Caribbean Council for the Blind, and auditor of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies.
At the Friday ALP executive meeting, Senator Paul “Chet” Greene filled the seat of chairman of ALP, a position which Christian also vacated. Greene will keep that seat until the party holds its next national convention.
The first vice chairmanship, which Greene consequently vacated, was filled by Senator Samantha Marshall.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)