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Michael predicts that Browne will not return as prime minister even if ALP wins election; Watts says party divided into factions

Gaston Browne, the political leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), does not enjoy the full support of all his candidates, according to Asot Michael, his former friend and the independent candidate for St. Peter.

As such, Michael is predicting that Browne will not become prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda even if his party wins the General Election on January 18.

The former ALP Member of Parliament made this bold prediction during an interview on the ABS Television programme “Antigua Barbuda Today” on Thursday, January 5.

He claims that the Labour Party candidates “who may win are anxious to see the back of their political leader.”

Michael, a four-term MP on the Labour Party ticket, is now running as an independent candidate.  He says his former colleagues are not happy with Browne, and they want to see the back of him even more than he – Michael – wants to see it.

The St. Peter contender is predicting that the elections will be very close, and some members of the ALP will use this opportunity to get rid of Browne as prime minister.

Meanwhile, Michael is confident that he will be involved in the governance of the country going forward.  And he adds that Browne cannot and will not dictate whether he is a part of any government.

He condemns the “vicious, nasty, mudslinging campaign” being waged against him by the ALP leader as if “[Browne] is paranoid that I want his job,” he says.

The independent candidate insists that he is still a member of the ALP and will remain a member of the party into which he was born.

Further, he categorically denies making any deal with any of the other political parties or funding the United Progressive Party (UPP) – an accusation that Browne has levelled repeatedly.

Meanwhile, Algernon “Serpent” Watts, the UPP Candidate for St. George, appears to hold similar beliefs as Michael concerning Browne.

While there is strife between Michael and his former friend and comrade, Watts says there is a bigger rift taking place within the Labour Party between the Labourites and the Gastonites.

Accordingly, the UPP Candidate is admonishing all true Labour Party supporters to reject Browne and his dictator-style of governance at the polls.

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