The Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), the opposition party in Barbuda says they too will be boycotting this year’s independence celebrations.
This is the second opposition party to have announced their exclusion in Antigua and Barbuda’s 35th Anniversary of Independence, after the main opposition, the United Progressive Party (UPP) revealed on Friday that they will not be participating in the activities.
General Secretary of the BPM McKenzie Frank while speaking on the Snake pit show last evening said the decision was made on Sunday.
“On Sunday, the members of the General Assembly of the Barbuda People’s Movement had a meeting and they sent out a press release and said that we’re not going to be celebrate the 35th anniversary of the independence of Antigua,” he noted.
Frank said that main reasons for the party to boycott the celebrations are due to assertions made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin concerning matters surrounding developments for Barbuda
” The Prime Minister and the Attorney General went into parliament and said that the Land Act which the people of Barbuda have been fighting for over the last 50 years is not worth the paper its written on….Cutie Benjamin went in the same Parliament and said the act is unconstitutional and the third reason why we’re not going to is because they went into parliament and said anyone who stands in the way of his development which at the time was Paradise Found, will be eliminated and those who stand in the any of development are economic terrorist,” he added.
He said that another reason is a suggestion that the Barbuda Local Government Act will be removed from the Constitution. He said Barbuda is not being treated as a part of the state and for these reasons and more, the party will not participate.
Meantime, Chairman of the UPP Giselle Isaac said that the main opposition did not ask its members to boycott the celebrations.
She said they are free to support its activities but warned that if the apparent politically tainted themes continue into next year’s celebrations, then a general call to boycott will be made.