The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has confirmed that member of parliament Asot Michael will run as a candidate for his party at the next general election.
Speaking at a wreath laying ceremony this morning, Gaston Browne said that despite “difficulties”, Michael will stand again for the St Peter constituency.
Asot Michael was arrested at Gatwick Airport, near London, on 23 October by officials from the UK’s National Crime Agency.
He was promptly stripped of his position as minister of tourism, economic development, investment and energy by the prime minister.
“Even comrade Asot Michael, who has had some difficulties, we have embraced him as one of us, and he too will be a candidate in the next general elections,” said Browne.
He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Despite not charges against him, leaked emails appear to show that the NSA had not ruled out charging him in the weeks following his arrest.
Gaston Browne admitted last month that any charges would mean the end of Michael within the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, and that there was a candidate on standby as the “automatic choice” if that situation arose.
The prime minister also named his wife as a candidate in one of the 17 seats that will be contested.
Maria Bird-Browne will run in St John’s Rural East, a seat currently held by her uncle Lester Bird.
Recently the ABLP was forced to deny that the prime minister was meddling in candidate selection.
Speaking to state-owned media today, Browne said that his party “could literally win all the seats” based on polls he has seen.