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Leader of the Opposition apologizes for vice-chairman, who then apparently disowns him

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Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2022. 11:43 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Political rumblings continue within the Opposition in the wake of a pair of confrontations at the Teakettle Village Council election on Sunday.

While the party has stood up for police officer Alicia Trapp who it says was unfairly targeted by Minister and area representative Julius Espat, Opposition Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow found it necessary to apologize publicly for the “violent” behaviour of Vice-Chairman Alberto August, who also got into it with a female supporter.

August was caught on camera during the Teakettle village elections on Sunday shoving one Marie Welcome after she hit one of his political signs.

This morning he posted an uncharacteristically cryptic but sharp statement appearing to distance himself from Barrow’s statements, relating that they are, “the utterances of an individual with whom I do not share the best of relations at this time.”

While Barrow told Channel 7 News that Welcome appeared to hit August’s sign first, “…but notwithstanding it is inexcusable to hit anyone and certainly to hit a woman, regardless of the context because if we go down that road of picking and choosing when it’s okay to hit women I believe that is a dangerous path to go down.” He recommended the example of U.S. civil rights activist and preacher Martin Luther King, Jr., an adherent of non-violence.

Barrow reiterated that as Leader he has “zero tolerance” for any type of violence and particularly violence against women, even as a reaction to apparent provocation and, as in this case, previous complaints of such behaviour as Barrow alleged.

“We have to condemn any type of violent behaviour, even if it is in defence. Even if it is a reaction – and we are all human – but it is not what we expect from the elected of our party,” said Barrow, who said the party would follow due process in relation to possible sanctions.

As for a supposed “culture of violence” against women in the UDP, the Leader of the Opposition said that was not restricted solely to his party if the complaint against Espat is any indication, and that there is a violence problem in the country generally. The UDP, he said, must lead by example: “We can be strong, we can be bold, and we can be defiant without crossing the line and being violent. Even when violence is inflicted upon us. He should have walked away, made a report, come back, and [stood] his ground.”

No such report has been made to our knowledge but we will keep following the story.

 

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