APP faces leadership battle after less than two years of existence

The less than two-year-old Alternative Peoples’ Party (APP) appears to be facing a major rift in its leadership as some members of its current executive have announced that party co-founder and political strategist Alex Bruno has resigned, but Bruno vehemently denies that claim.

“In the true spirit of transparency which the Alternative Peoples’ Party (APP) prides itself on, we wish to inform the general public that the executive of APP and Political Scientist Alex Bruno, who served as our former party strategist has mutually agreed to part ways,”  a media release signed by the party’s president Julius Corbette, stated.

Dominica’s youngest political party further noted, in its release, that within the past few weeks, “there have been several matters which have attempted to threaten the democratic principles and values which they stand for; therefore, the appointed executive, duly recognized by the Electoral Commission of Dominica saw it fit to make some necessary changes.”

DNO contacted the Electoral Office to ascertain whether the Electoral Commission had any authority over the executive of a political party and we were informed that the Commission does not have the legal authority to recognize or not to recognize the executive of any political party. According to the Chief Elections Officer, the only requirement that the Electoral Office is authorized to enforce is the provision of a symbol to a political party subject to certain guidelines. The APP’s symbol is the clock.

The APP release does not go into detail about the “matters” which appear to have created the rift between Bruno and the party’s executive, but it goes on to state that as of September 16, 2021, Bruno officially tendered his resignation to the party’s president, which the executive members “had no objection to accepting.”

Contrary to the party’s press release, Bruno, who has taken to the airwaves and social media,  to categorically deny the assertion, told Dominica News Online (DNO), “I Alex Bruno, co-founder of the APP and the party’s political strategist, have never sat in conference nor exchanged any information  with the party’s executive now, or in the past, expressing my wish to resign from the party or from my office.”

However, three top executives of the party – president Julius Corbett, political leader Tahira Blanchard, and deputy political leader Sharon Vidal – have all confirmed to DNO that their separation from Alex Bruno is true.

According  to these APP officials, 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.

They declined to comment further citing the desire to refocus their attention on assisting in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. However, a well-placed source has made available to DNO, a copy of what they say, is an open letter which the executive sent to Bruno reminding him of a WhatsApp message in which it is alleged that he informed them of his decision to resign from his position.

“I also refer to a WhatsApp message dated September 16th, 2021, from you (Mr.Bruno) to the party President requesting the President to create another Executive Management Chat Chamber excluding you (Mr. Bruno) and that you will remain as Co-Founder, Supporter and Friend but not as Strategist nor Executive Member,” a part of the letter, dated October 11th 2021, stated.

It added, “You (Mr. Bruno) also reiterated that you will not serve the Party in any sensitive leadership position and that this was not up for debate and that all necessary passwords and information that was requested of you would be handed over.”

Pointing to Article 3 section 8L of APP’s ratified constitution, the APP executive, in the letter copied to several other founding members, demanded that the political scientist, who worked with the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in the last general election, “immediately render” to the president, all the party’s passwords, credentials, documents and literature “that was used or produced for the benefit of the party” and also to return any property of the party.

“In addition, in accordance with Article 3 section 8M of the Alternative Peoples` Party Ratified Constitution, you are obliged to keep confidential, all information that you were privy to as Party Strategist and co-founder. Failure to comply, will result in legal action taken against you,” the letter warned.

Bruno has also been advised to immediately cease all operations including administrative, political zonal or district gatherings or meetings, functions and consultations including meetings with any delegate, soliciting sponsorship, or anything else pertaining to the Alternative Peoples Party’s business.

Bruno’s response to DNO when questioned on the WhatsApp message he allegedly sent to Corbett, was,  “I have sent several messages to the members of the APP on different dates and times and if September 16 is one of those dates, I guess it is but I will tell you again that I never resigned from APP as political strategist or anything else.”

While Bruno maintains that everything is fine within the party, sources close to the APP have informed DNO that a conclave with several of the founding members of the party was held this past Sunday and a discussion on political leader Tahira Blanchard’s future with the team was part of the agenda.

A media release bearing the signature of Kendra Stephen, one of four females who had earlier been introduced as executive members of the party, had announced the convening of a special founders conclave of the APP as a result of recent unforeseen developments, “to realign the vision and mission of the party as it relates to the development of Dominica.”

According to that release, “This decision became necessary  and is guided by the strength of our original 24 founding articles and the spirit with which the party was constituted, as captured in Article 21: ii of the party’s constitution.”

The release ends by noting that “A congress shall therefore be convened to elect members who will be tasked with leading and guiding APP’s vision no later than 48 hours following the publication of the press release issued on October 11, 2021.”

Meantime, a notice on the party’s Facebook page announced that a special congress will be held this evening.

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  1. Bob D
    October 13, 2021

    Fake ideas, Fake people, Flatter to deceive, is this the end game for the APP? Crabs in the barrel, is the ideal description of this so-called all women political party, Dominica style. One thing that has been compounded, is how easily manipulated some women tend to be. Some say, a little intel is the most dangerous self destruct tool. Apparently, the APP is loaded.

  2. Lin clown
    October 13, 2021

    Just listen to Bwa Banday and that CROOKED IBO France.When Alex Bruno was UWP campaign strategist and pollstar,all the UWP cloned DON KEYS were kissinghisA,when he said UWP had 14 sure seats.DLP and supporters NEVER believed DE ALEX POLL,they called it a greasy poll.How is it that DLP knew Alex poll was FAKE and UWP didn’t?Not only FAKE,but Linton got the worse beating of any UWP leader,he lost 1,163 votes and 3 seats.UWP is a dead party.Tahira Blanchard and Nichols Esprit were SENATORS in UWP they left and supported DLP.Julius Timothy was a minister in UWP he left and became a minister in DLP.Dr.Curving Ferreira was deputy political leader and UWP candidate for St.Joseph he left and supported DLP.Loreen Bannis Roberts and Joseph Isaac were parl reps for Castlebruce and Roseau central they left and supported DLP.Alex realize these political parties are a bunch of. Greedy politician so he is playing them like the fools that they are.He CANNOT fool DLP,he cannot fool Skerrit.

  3. Ibo France
    October 13, 2021

    On numerous occasions, Tahira Blanchard, has touted her honesty and her party’s forthrightness. But, she painstakingly hid her so called ‘professional relationship’ with Mr. Skerrit from the public. Is she as trustworthy as she portrays herself to be?

    Can she now disclose where the party got all those monetary donations in these tough economic times to procure items to give to her ‘constituents’ and other outsiders? Were these from government resources handed to her by her ‘professional’ friend? Does Skerrit give without strings attached?

    I’m sure Tahira has egg on her face right now as Dominicans have come to the sad conclusion that all her puritanical talk and behaviour was just a facade.

    P.S. Do you the public realize that with all the corruption and badness that her ‘professional’ madman friend has done and is still doing, she has never taken him to task for it? However, on several occasions she has used innuendos and insinuations to slight the UWP?

  4. Ibo France
    October 13, 2021

    The guns and knives are out. The founding members are now sniping at each other. Alex and Tahira deserve each other. They are trying to escape from the quicksand they have found themselves. The harder they try the deeper they sink. Much more would be revealed as to the real objectives of some of the founding members of App. By the way, they have fatally injured themselves. Power, money,greed and lies have caused this implosion.

    Alex Bruno knowingly lied to Matthias Peltier when he was asked in an interview if he had any involvement in the founding of App. He flatly denied so.

    Tahira Blanchard claims to have a ‘professional’ relationship with Mr. Skerrit. You would have to wilfully suspend common sense to believe that. To have that ready access, that relationship had to be personal (platonic). When you can circumvent long established protocols, give the PM a call, and get your wishes met in short order, that is much more than a professional relationship.

    R.I.P. APP!

  5. Money god
    October 13, 2021

    Seems like we now have two APP parties in Dominican the ‘ Alex Personal Party’ (APP). I guess the symbol is the tongue for Pawol and we have the original APP but their new symbol is $$. So no secret that Shakira Blanchard confirmed to Matt this morning that she has a professional relationship hmmm with money god

  6. Ibo France
    October 13, 2021

    I listened to an interview with Tahira Blanchard the present leader of the App. She posited that the relationship she has with Roosevelt Skerrit is professional. Dominicans know that EVERYTHING Mr. Skerrit does and every relationship he has, is meticulously calculated political advantageousness.

    This lady has committed political suicide. Probably she was never serious at the onset but serves Mr. Skerrit’s purpose of frustrating the efforts of the main opposition party to further divide the votes among all the opposition parties.

    Dominicans should now move on quickly now that Tahira’s clandestine secret ‘professional’ relationship with the master of chicanery and deception has been exposed. Let’s focus on the main subject, the ruination of Dominica by a human bulldozer. His political demise should be top priority.

  7. %
    October 13, 2021

    Alex take what you deserve, and shut up!!!!
    I honestly believe that in addition to what is already on your plate, you still deserve more!!

  8. Lin clown
    October 13, 2021

    BWA BANDAY and Bruno are the same,here it is BWA is talking about stealing elections.The same BS just a different day.Mr.Bwa tell Dominicans the 1,163 votes UWP lost in the 2019 election,WHERE DID THE VOTES COME FROM?Did the votes come from the diaspora or people living in Dominica?When Alex Bruno told a bunch of blind,overeducated DON KEYS UWP had 14 sure seats in the 2019 election,only Jesus Christ was better than Alex.Today the same bunch is taking Alex to the CLEANERS.

  9. Pipo
    October 13, 2021

    I listened to Shakira Blanchard on Matt’s programme today. Apart from confirming that she corresponds with Skerrit she also referred to her constituency. Madam, you are well ahead of your time, considering you have not even contested an election, so how can you have a constituency and having to ask Skerrit for favours on behalf of your constituents. Sorry but this is ludicrous. And you believe getting favours from a Skerrit does not have a price? I just don’t trust you.

    • Ibo France
      October 13, 2021

      Pipo, you have hit the nail on the head. This young lady is both naive and supremely arrogant and just perhaps deceptive. She is being used by Skerrit and think it’s a mutual relationship if you give her the benefit of the doubt. I think she is calculating.

      Remember in a previous radio interview she stubbornly refused to comment or support a call for a stimulus package and vehemently stated that her party was only focusing on people getting vaccinated at this time? Now we know. Deception comes with smiling faces.

  10. Eagle-Eyed
    October 13, 2021

    Way papa! Bruno’s ambition of becoming PM have been well and truly scuppered by the ladies of his party. I suppose he will have to go back to doing his fake polls for the UWP and probably try and replace LL.
    To be fair to the ladies, they have their own ambitions of being the first woman PM since MAMO (when Skerrit steps down). We are long overdue to have a woman in the top job. Women tend to be better leaders and managers than men.

    • Channel 1
      October 13, 2021

      @Eagle-Eyed –
      “We are long overdue to have a woman in the top job. Women tend to be better leaders and managers than men.”

      Upon what basis did you make that assumption?

      If that is true, why do women generally prefer working for or with male leaders and managers as opposed to female leaders and managers?

      At a time when Dominica has a high percentage of women parliamentary representatives and women government ministers, what exactly is the benefit Dominica is deriving from their presence in their positions?

      Do you see any improvement in the employment situation, the social well-being and overall development in those constituencies with women parliamentary representatives?

      Do you see the women ‘leaders’ in government championing best practices and speaking out against corruption, wrongdoing and conflict of interests in government?

    • Ibo France
      October 13, 2021

      Eagle-Eye, your argument about women tend to be better leaders than men, where is the empirical data?

      Portia Simpson Miller ( Jamaica), Mamma Persad Bissesar (T&T) were recently prime ministers. How many terms did they serve before they were voted out of office? One! Gender has nothing to do with leadership. It’s the calibre of person in the seat.

      • Toto
        October 13, 2021

        I agree, we need the person who is best for the country, man or woman, I don’t care.

  11. An observer of politics in DA
    October 13, 2021

    I must ask how are we to take any political party or individual seriously when they are using Whatsapp messages as a formal line of communication of something so serious. To the party’s members, please rethink your decisions to accept a Whatsapp message as a form of communication. A formal letter and a original signature is always your best option.

    Secondly, as a Dominican looking for another political party to consider, do you really think that you all can be taken seriously? These types of issues, only keep the poor malawe accepting hand outs from you know who and everyone else left scratching their heads looking for other options. The reason the current dictator is still in power is because the other parties do not have their act together. Come on people.

    Get it together. Strengthen your policies so that you all do not have to deal with future issues like this. The people need other options but we need to know that you have your act together.

  12. mine
    October 13, 2021

    Three sides to every story yours, theirs and the truth. Someone is not speaking the truth. A party is not fully form and the walls already falling down. There is more to come. I see lots of restrictions on Alex. WOW

  13. New Alternative Party - NAP
    October 13, 2021

    This is so comical

  14. October 13, 2021

    DNO you seem so elaborate on this issue on a party that has no forward or reverse gear.. I will await in due course how elaborate you will be when your Prime Minister returns to town and how you will confront him on his trip. I will await

  15. Bwa-Banday
    October 12, 2021

    While Alex is my Boy, I have no apologies when I say what goes around comes around. Let him stew in his own poop. How can you convince me that you formed a political party a mere 5 days after the election which you were convinced UWP would win? Eh Eh, that doe good according to an old police officer Insp. Prosper I knew. While allegedly working free for the UWP he was organizing to form an opposition because he knew Labour Party would not have survived the impending loss because they all had planned to run away if their plan to steal the election did not work.

    So, I maintain the brother was crooking UWP all along. Mark my words, Pawol is going to be a senior DLP operative and possible candidate. And I say again, DCA does not need another political party. Dca needs unified patriots with big Cahunas to tackle this allegedly corrupt DLP Cabal and get them out of the way. Good luck to Dr. Pawol in all his future endeavors bcuz the brother is talented.

  16. Jonathan Y St Jean
    October 12, 2021

    They think it was going to be easy as 1..2..3. They thought they could just form their new party and they would have an easy path to the helm. This situation reveals that they aren’t united and we know what’s said about a house divided. I hope Alex takes a sip of the humble wine and learns from it. A small country like Dominca doesn’t need so many political parties.

  17. zorrrrr
    October 12, 2021

    All that comess for a party that not even known….not even a force to recon with….choops

  18. Ibo France
    October 12, 2021

    Dominica needs more social activism and advocacy. More political parties at this time only serve to fan the flames of division in an already fiercely fragmented society.

    The country needs activists to fight against injustice; police brutality; domestic violence; child abuse; corruption in government.

    It needs advocates to agitate for better programs for the elderly; proper facilities for those who have fallen victims to alcohol and drug abuse; for the homeless, etcetera, not more political parties for sure.

    App has not even held its first convention and it already has splintered into different fractions. That’s my point.

  19. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    October 12, 2021

    which Blanchard is the article referring to

    ADMIN: We indicated earlier in the article that it was Tahira Blanchard, we since updated the article to include her full name in each instance.

    • Ibo France
      October 13, 2021

      DNO the good doctor is slow to grasp even the simplest of things. Dumb down things for him please.

  20. Ibo France
    October 12, 2021

    This kerfuffle among the top echelon of the App cannot inspire confidence in any potential supporter. Reading between the lines, this is most likely a power struggle. By the way, the party was not gaining much traction. Most of the Dominican electorate saw them as just a nuisance.

    Alex Bruno is not a team player. He has to be the Chief of any political entity he joints. He is a political yoyo. He bounced from DFP to UWP then to App. Once he cannot have his way, like a school yard bully, he knocks over the stumps, throw away the ball, then walks home with the bat.

    The man is a political fanatic. Power hungry. I repeat that he is not a team player. He should run as an independent candidate. Let’s see how far he will get with that.

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