A candidate is waiting in the wings to replace Asot Michael if the ex-minister is charged by police in the UK, says the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
Michael was arrested at the end of October after flying into the UK. Officers from the National Crime Agency picked him up as part of an investigation into bribery in the Caribbean.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne took swift action to remove him as minister of tourism, economic development, investment and energy, releasing a statement before he was released from his police interview. The speed of the decision was criticised by some in the Caribbean.
The St Peter Member of Parliament denied any wrongdoing but since he arrived back in Antigua he hasn’t made any public comment.
Now Browne, who stood by his actions, has now told an interview that plans are in place should the Michael situation escalate.
“We have approached Shermain Jeremy to be the standby candidate. She’s not challenging the present representative Asot Michael,” he said, according to the Antigua Observer.
“In fact, the representative enjoys her full support. But in the event, he’s charged, then she will be the automatic choice to replace him. And she has agreed to make herself available.”
WIC News has contacted Asot Michael by email and Facebook message for comment on this development. He is yet to reply.
The prime minister stressed that said the decision to invite Jeremy should not be interpreted as the party’s view on whether Michael is guilty of any wrongdoing.