OBSERVER: The United Progressive Party’s candidate for St Mary’s South has been axed from the party’s slate of candidates for the next general election due to a medical condition.
In a letter dated July 22 and leaked to Observer, the party’s leader Harold Lovell told Marshall that branch and community members, as well as some of Marshall’s own family, were concerned about “the effects of a rigorous political campaign on your physical health”.
And noting “the time and physical efforts that will be called for, as the party tries to cover the most ground in the shortest time,” the leadership of the party had concluded that “it simply cannot subject you to the physical hardship ahead, nor those who love and care for you to any further anxiety”.
This is despite Marshall apparently insisting he was strong enough to run.
The party will therefore be putting forward another candidate to go up against the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party’s candidate for that area, Samantha Marshall, and the Democratic National Alliance’s Andrew Antonio, in what many believe will be an early election. Elections are constitutionally due by mid-March next year.
Lovell, however, assured Marshall that he “will always have a prominent place in the United Progressive Party and any administration” that he may lead.
“We look forward to you being able to continue using your many gifts and abilities for the benefit of the party, your community and, indeed, our beloved country,” he added.
The missive did not disclose the specific condition afflicting Marshall, but it alluded to the fact he had been hospitalised at least three times and may be seeking treatment in New York or Barbados.
Lovell confirmed the authenticity of the letter with Observer and indicated that the party’s central executive was set to meet and would release a statement in the next day or two.
Marshall unsuccessfully contested the St Mary’s South seat for the UPP when he ran against Samantha Marshall in the 2018 general election.
When contacted by Observer, Marshall said the matter was private and one he would not be making a public statement on.