Joanne Massiah (CMC)
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A new political party will be launched this week by former member of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Joanne Massiah who was ousted two months ago.
Massiah, who is the legislator for the constituency of All Saints East and St Luke, has not disclosed the name of the party that will be launched on Tuesday.
With the launch, she will become the first woman in the country’s history to lead a political party.
Massiah was dismissed following a row, which started almost two years ago when she accused her UPP colleagues of lying about her refusal to cooperate during the dispute over the leadership race and after.
According to a report in the Antigua Observer, Massiah said based on how things unfolded during that period, she was constructively dismissed from the UPP the moment she was not named as a candidate in the next general elections.
In February, the UPP said that, Massiah, who was being touted as the first woman to attempt to lead the party, was expelled after a meeting of the party’s Disciplinary Council.
In January 2016, Massiah said she had entered the race to succeed former prime minister Baldwin Spencer at the “urgings of the party faithful, after much prayer, broad-based consultation and sober reflection as well as through a process of objective assessment of the legacy of the UPP and the overwhelming sense of duty to introduce the country to a different type of politics”.
Former finance minister Harold Lovell is now leading the opposition party. (CMC)