In a historic showing, on Sunday 27 June 2021, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) held its Inaugural Congress under the theme “Pathway to Prosperity – Courage to Change ”. The event held both in-person at the Heritage Hotel and Virtually featured Congratulatory Messages from Leaders across the region including Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis who unscored the importance of female leadership to national development and highlighted past and present women leaders who have served our region with distinction. Minister Brandy-Williams also commented that Political Leader, Joanne Massiah, is “not a show woman but a quiet champion who serves with grace”.
Further greetings came from Ms. Una May Gordon, Climate Justice and Gender Advocate from Jamaica, who stated that “even with all the challenges, there has never been a time when more opportunities present themselves to make a most significant contribution to the transformation of our political system for the economy and the social benefit of our people.” Students from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus as well as Youth Advocates from across the region also sent congratulatory messages to the DNA demonstrating the impact of the new, fresh and dynamic political organization not only in Antigua and Barbuda, but across the Caribbean.
The guest speaker, Mr. Dwyer Astaphan, former Senior Minister of Government from St. Kitts and Nevis and Attorney-at-Law, had the audience riveted by his usual frank, forthright and penetrating assessment of the current state of politics within the region. Mr. Astaphan reminded the gathering that while the pre-independence home grown leaders laid an adequate foundation in the social, educational and economic sectors which advanced their countries and people, the post-independence period witnessed the emergence of political leaders who have been and are incompetent, lack vision and are “woefully unsuited – intellectually, technically, attitudinally, ethically and morally – to govern…” He warned against the growing “transactional nature of elections shamelessly oblivious to the struggle of the hard earned right to vote won just 70 years ago” and where electors “abandon their dignity and self-respect and selling their votes which is a sad measure of depravation and depravity to which our people have sunk…”
In the second half of the day’s activities where the Business Session was conducted, members received reports from General Secretary, Gatesworth James, on the activities of the Party for the last four years as well as from Treasurer, Coady Joseph, on the Financial Standing of the organization. Members present physically and virtually, officially elected the Officers of the Party:-
President – Col. Joanne Massiah
1st Vice President- Col. Bruce Goodwin
2nd Vice President- Col. Anthony Stuart
Chairperson – Col. Malaka Parker
Deputy Chairperson – Col. Louis Rivera
Secretary General – Col. Gatesworth James
Deputy Secretary General – Col. Majorie Parchment
Communications Officer – Col. Chaneil Imhoff
Chief Financial Officer – Col. Gameal Joyce
Deputy Financial Officer – Col. Coady Joseph
Mobilization Officer – Col. Kelton Dalso
Massiah, a former Senator, Member of Parliament and Minister of Government is the first duly elected female Political Leader of a Party in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Democratic National Alliance is appreciative for the outpouring of support, well wishes, prayers and goodwill extended to our members and leadership who made this historic day possible and we look forward to your ongoing support as we forge ahead to taking the reins of Government in Antigua and Barbuda and afford our people to realize our motto of “Prosperity for All”.