Vincentian, Rene Baptiste and former Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party senator, now Ambassador to Mexico, Gail Christian, were elected as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the OECS Assembly, respectively.
Baptiste, who was re-elected, became the first Speaker of the OECS Assembly when it met for its inaugural meeting in Antigua in August 2012, while Christian was chosen as Deputy for the first time.
Baptiste, an attorney for 35 years, is also a former government minister in the Dr Ralph Gonsalves administration. She was first elected to the St Vincent & the Grenadines House of Assembly in 2001, and retired from active politics in 2010.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in an interview said Christian was his personal pick for the role, but he has higher expectations for the former minority leader in the senate.
“Absolutely my personal pick. I was very pleased to nominate her and I have no doubt that Ambassador Gail Christian has the capacity not only to serve as deputy but certainly the Speaker.
“We’re hoping that we will see the natural progression of her becoming the Speaker eventually of the Assembly,” PM Browne said.
In 2013, Christian fell out of favour with the then opposition Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party when she was replaced as minority leader in the Upper House after tendering her resignation.