Opposition leader Hector John has discredited an article by a columnist who claimed that Opposition Leader of St. Kitts Mark Brantley did not have his fellow Opposition Leaders’ support to speak on their behalf at the inaugural OECS Assembly.
In an article, Charles Jong, a public relation consultant based in St. Kitts, wrote, “It is unclear whether secessionist Mark Brantley who spoke on behalf of the Leaders of the Opposition of member states had unanimous support from his peers as three of them were visibly absent for the August occasion.”
The article entitled, “Disunity Among OECS Opposition Leaders?” appeared in a St. Kitts newspaper and several online news organizations.
But speaking to the media in St. Kitts John disagreed and sought to discredit Jong’s column. “Hon. Brantley got the support of everyone to represent our interest, which he did with eloquence and passion for the advancement of the sub-region,” the St. Kitts Observer quoted John as saying on the matter.
The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has made it clear that Brantley has its full support. In a press release to the media in Dominica after the Assembly, the party said it was particularly pleased that he raised concerns that continue to seriously affect the people of the sub region, particularly Dominica.
“The issues of Electoral Reform, Freedom of Information, Good Governance and Election Petitions highlighted by Hon. Brantley were well on point and should receive the full attention of all authorities across the region, including non-OECS countries,” the UWP said in the release.
John is not the only regional opposition leader to endorse Brantley. One week before the Assembly began, the opposition in Antigua said it supports him as the spokesperson for opposition parlimentarians.
Jong’s article went on to claim that after the assembly, several regional parlimentarians were heard saying Brantley’s speech was disrespectful to sitting prime ministers and several of these parlimentarians were seen apologizing.
But the media in St. Kitts is quoting John as denying these assertions. “I never heard any Parliamentarian making any negative comments about the presentation of Hon. Brantley. In fact, he was congratulated by his colleagues from the different Governments and Oppositions and also by the invited guests. He was interrupted on several occasions by applause of approval and support during his presentation as he firmly articulated the position of the Oppositions of the Sub-region,” he told the St. Kitts Oberver.
John said Jong’s article was an attempt at divisiveness.
The historic inauguration of the OECS Assembly took place on Friday August 10 in Antigua and Barbuda. The Assembly is made up of five members of the Parliament of each independent OECS Member State and three members from the Legislature of each non-independent Member State, with representation from both government and the parliamentary opposition, including the Head of Government and the Leader of the Opposition.
Dominica was represented by Opposition Leader Hector John, who attended as a member while UWP Senator Ezekiel Bazil went as an observer.
Dominica’s government was represented by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Public Works Minister Rayburn Blackmoore and Minister for Trade Colin McIntyre.
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