The Antigua Barbuda Labour Party’s incumbent candidate for St. George, Dean Jonas, has rejected allegations that he, or any of his supporters, used a firearm to intimidate his United Progressive Party opponent, Algernon Watts, or his supporters.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Jonas dismissed the allegation as false and said it was part of the UPP’s strategy to manipulate electors ahead of this month’s elections.
Jonas said his opponent had resorted to making the “untruthful and morally bankrupt claim” in a desperate attempt to salvage his efforts after being “unable to get any traction in their two-year campaign leading to the January 18, 2023, general election”.
The ABLP candidate accused Watts and his supporters of trailing his entourage on 31st December, 2022 as they campaigned, creating a “nuisance” and coming close to “triggering a physical confrontation”.
Rumours surfaced on Saturday night that a member of Jonas’ entourage brought the heckling to an abrupt end after a firearm was brandished.
“On Saturday evening, December 31, 2022, the UPP team alleges they were frightened-off when they were threatened by the display of a firearm. That claim is wholly untrue.
“Minister Dean Jonas denies having or displaying a firearm and has watched as this hapless group of unworthy aspirants for public office sink into character assassination, obfuscation and unwholesome lies in an effort to persuade voters,” the statement from Jonas’ campaign said.
Jonas, meanwhile, commented, “I have the impression that the UPP team is growing more and more desperate as the smell of defeat becomes more discernible.”
He further dismissed the allegation from the Watts camp as a desperate attempt by “the losing UPP and their operatives are seeking sympathy by concocting stories that are false, irresponsible, and lacking in substance”.