Gaston-BROWNE

Political analyst and associate professor of African and Caribbean Studies at Arizona State University, Dr David Hinds said it’s unfair for Prime Minister Gaston Browne to refer to the pressure group, The Movement, as an arm of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).

He’s of the view that it was too early to label the group as an affiliate to any other organisation, when it was only recently formed and has publicly indicated it has no interest in joining or becoming a political party at this time.

“One would have to look at it over a period of time. I think it is very early, and understandably, the people who are drawn to critique of the government would be people from the opposition.

“Now, if in two years’ time, The Movement has not broadened to include other sectors in the society, then we can make that determination that this is just a front for the UPP,” Dr Hinds said.

UPP Senator Damani Tabor reasoned that the prime minister only made such a statement to “scare” those opposed to his administration and its policies.

Meanwhile, Dr Hinds said even though senior members of the UPP are part of The Movement, this does not undermine the credibility of the organisation.

“One can belong to a political party, but one can also belong to movements that deal with issues that the political party doesn’t want to deal with. So, the citizen, who is a UPP member could also belong to a trade union, could also belong to a pressure group and the fact that you belong to these other groups, means the political party itself is not able to meet the needs of the people,” Dr Hinds noted.

He’s however warning that statements coming from The Movement could undermine its own efforts.

Dr Hinds was referring to a comment made by Croif Hilary Emanuel, a senior member of the group who, when asked what’s the mission of the group, said: “We are seeking to remove Gaston Browne and his cohorts from power in this country.”