Freeland ready to work with Jonas after defeat in primaries

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – In a conciliatory tone, the two contenders in the St George constituency, Dean Jonas and Michael Freeland, said they are now looking towards a general election win for the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).

“With the general election, I expect to be victorious there as well. I think I do have the support of the community,” Jonas said.

In a primary election in the St George constituency on Wednesday night, Jonas secured 278 votes, 55 more than Freeland.

“Michael didn’t lose any points. I think he did very well and he deserves to be congratulated as well,” Jonas said.

“His team worked very hard and he had a very good support team.”

Freeland congratulated the ABLP incumbent on his victory and wished him success in the general election.

“I commend my challenger Dean Jonas. I congratulate him on the hard work that he has put in,” he said.

“As I have told the party leadership I remain steadfast as a Labourite and I am here to support their endeavours.”

Jonas said he and the party would welcome Freeland’s “support and assistance” in the general election. There the ABLP candidate will face off against MP Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, who defeated him in the 2009 election.

Both contenders noted that the turnout was poor for the St George primary with only 501 of the over 900 registered voters casting a ballot. Jonas said the inclement weather might have been to blame.

Meantime, as the labour party works fastidiously to fill all 17 slots on its ticket before the announcement of its candidates on Labour Day, another primary, in St Phillip South, took place yesterday.

The results of that contest were revealed after press time.

The three contenders in that primary were Maureen Payne-Hyman, Dawson “Zuki” Nathaniel and Senator Lennox Weston.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)