The United Progressive Party (UPP) has ended all speculation about its interest in independent Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Dr Maria Agard.
UPP leader Lynette Eastmond today announced that she had asked the dentist to join her team for the general election due by the middle of this year.
“If she were to come, of course she would strengthen it [UPP],” Eastmond told a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Strathclyde, The City, adding that the party was awaiting a response from Agard, who has left the public in suspense as to her future political ambitions.
Eastmond has made no secret of her desire to have the former Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) parliamentarian on her ticket.
As recently as last month, during a public meeting in West Terrace, St James, the UPP leader said she would welcome Agard, who won the seat in 2013 for the BLP before she was expelled from the party in November 2015 for her failure “to recognize the legitimacy of a democratically elected branch of this party” and “to be guided by the party’s council”. She was also said to have had “fundamentally an issue of discipline and respect for authority and willingness to work together in an organization with other people”.
Agard challenged her expulsion in the High Court with Eastmond as one of her lawyers.
Judge Olson Alleyne threw out the lawsuit at the end of last month on the grounds that it was lodged against the wrong people, on the wrong fix date claim form (FDCF) and in the wrong way.
Following the ruling Eastmond issued a press release on her client’s behalf, stating that Agard would make a final decision on whether to refile the case in conjunction with her family and her attorneys.
At a meeting in Haynesville, St James in mid-October, Eastmond had also said she would do “everything” she could to ensure Agard’s political career was a long one.
“I think [Agard is] one of the most qualified, gifted, thoughtful members of Parliament that we have ever seen in Barbados and I’m sure that everyone agrees that we need her in Parliament in the future,” she had said in the presence of the Christ Church West parliamentarian, who did not address the meeting.
“Her political career must not come to an end. And if I can do anything at all to ensure that this woman,
Dr Maria Agard, continues to contribute to the political life of Barbados, I will do everything in my power to make sure that that happens,” Eastmond had stressed.
Agard’s predecessor and fellow dentist Dr William Duguid has replaced her as the BLP candidate.