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Antigua Labour Party Secret Meeting Angers Leader

Bird’s anger became apparent when he addressed party officials at a special strategy meeting on Monday.

Bird vowed to retain his leadership of the party as wind of the weekend meeting reached his ears, stating that he is not stepping down. 

The ALP leader is said to have likened himself to former U.S President, Franklyn D. Roosevelt, who was elected president despite being paralysed by polio thus forcing him to use a wheelchair. Bird frequently draws parallels between his current condition, where he is rendered largely immobile due to a herniated disc in his back, and Roosevelt, considered by many as one of the best U.S presidents of all time.

Meanwhile, the group of Antigua Labour Party parliamentarians and candidates held a second meeting on Sunday to discuss what one insider said was a move to get the party ready for the 2014 general elections.

The meeting, held at a private residence just outside of St John’s, brought together ten of the candidates who contested the 2009 general elections on the ALP ticket.

The insider, who spoke with on condition of anonymity said  “We wanted to explore all avenues to ensure we put all the necessary measures in place to strengthen the party’s chances of victory at the next general elections,” the insider said.

The source said the discussions were held in a frank manner in an atmosphere of mutual respect. According to him, the attendees at the meeting were pleased to be able to meet without the acrimony that often accompanies some of the party’s gatherings.

Asked what impact the meeting will likely have on this weekend’s planned party retreat, the insider said the meeting had nothing to do with the retreat as it was planned well ahead of the announcement.

The insider also said those in attendance agreed that should there be a challenge for the party’s leadership at the November 25 convention, they will all rally behind that person in a spirit of unity. There was no indication that anyone of the candidates present will as yet make a formal announcement of his/her candidacy for ALP Political Leader.

Bird, as well as fellow parliamentarians Robin Yearwood and Molwyn Joseph were not invited. Others not in attendance were Gail Christian and Samantha Marshall. 

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