Within hours of officially resigning from the Alternative People’s Party (APP) in what he said was an attempt to protect the identity of some of the party’s founders, APP co-founder and former political strategist, Alex Bruno, has revealed the identity of the other six original members.
Bruno had expressed “sadness” at having to tender his resignation dated October 13, 2021, to the APP but said it had to be done in the best interest of the party, its founders and members who should not be exposed to such public scrutiny “at this crucial period of our party’s development.”
“Please protect the identity of those Founders, sponsors and others who prefer to remain anonymous at this time. The hint that you intend to declassify this information [hastened] my resignation. Let me be a [martyr] for the founders,” Bruno’s resignation letter stated.
However, while conducting a zoom call which was carried live on Facebook the same day of his official resignation , Bruno shared a screen titled ‘APP-first party conference on Jan 12 2020.’ A part of that document read “FOUNDRES [Founders] who attended the first conference” with seven names highlighted.
That list of names included Tahira Blanchard, the party’s current political leader, attorney at law Indira St. Jean, who, a few years back, was sworn in as the United Workers Party (UWP) nominee on the Integrity in Public Office (IPO) Commission, as well Luchiano Dupuis who represents the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) as an executive member of the Caribbean Young Democrat Union (CYDU) .
The other names are current APP executive member Kendra Stephens, former UWP youth arm President Marlon Giraudel, cadence-lypso legend, Gordon Henderson and Bruno himself.
Responding to comments on social media, Bruno confirmed that information to be true, stating “these honorable people all offered their honest expertise in formulating the platform for a new political conversation.”
“NEVER, was it the intention to hurt, destroy, go after, or kill any party. The APP that I was part of, would NOT accept FAVORS from anyone or team, nor group which can be seen as enemies of the people’s progress. The Founders should feel proud! I am sorry again, but there can be a much brighter tomorrow. Let’s pick up from here and move on,” he added.
While other founding members have not spoken out publicly on the matter, Gordon Henderson has also taken to Facebook, confirming that he has had some type of relationship with the party.
“Yes, my name figures on this list and I am proud to have witnessed the creation of a political party comprising the youth and women,” he said but contends, “…I was never a member of this or any other party but I have been asked to support the DLP and UWP as well and have gladly done so.”
Henderson goes on to confirm that he knows “something” about the founding of the party and has nothing to hide as he is proud of his involvement.
“Alex Pawol Bruno is a friend of many years and has recently become a qualified political scientist. He invited me to attend a meeting with a group of young people who were meant to start a new political organisation with a view of being less tribal and hateful in our politics.
I welcomed the idea and pledged to assist in any way that I could, not against DLP or UWP both of which I have also helped but with the hope that women and youth would be more visible in our political landscape,” the music legend claims.
He further points out that he has only attended no more than three meetings via Zoom and has only witnessed their growth on social media like the rest of the public.
“I was nowhere around during these times,” he maintained. “I was proud of their progress and accomplishments based on what I saw on FB.”
Henderson, however, goes on to state that a few days ago he was contacted by Bruno to join a meeting to discuss internal issues within the party which he did, but they were unable to resolve the problem which has now found its way into the public.
“That’s the extent of my involvement. I have never been a member of any political party with good reason. Now, since it’s a political issue, DO NOT VOTE FOR ME. I do not need a job! I am a free citizen who mingles with whoever I wish. I can also give an account of my involvement with the other parties if you wish,” he said.
Within the past few days, the less than two-years-old political party received much public attention when it announced in a press release that Bruno had resigned via a WhatsApp message but Bruno vehemently denied that claim. A few hours later, he submitted what he said was his official resignation letter which was shared with the media.
APP officials told DNO at the time that based on a series of actions taken by Bruno within the past few weeks which they chose to keep confidential, they determined that a parting of the ways was the best option to protect the party’s integrity.
Commenting on social media on the rift between him and some APP executive members, Bruno stated, “Let’s not give up on Dominica and our people, but I cannot be a party to selfishness, pettiness, arrogance and sell-out or greed. I cannot be purchased nor will I ever be COMPROMISED. You accept [a] favor from a politician, and they own you forever.”
“I, Alex Bruno,” he continued, “can beat my chest and say that I have never, ever accepted favors from any politician, be it in a professional or casual capacity; emergency or otherwise. I did no wrong; none that I know of, and I leave the stage in honor. My hands are clean, and so too are the hands of our honorable Founders: some of them.”