Front Page
November 25, 2005
• Former PPM leader pleased with ULP Performance

Leading Businessman, and former politician, Ormiston ‘Ken’ Boyea is speaking out about the local political situation. Boyea won the Central Kingstown seat in the June 15, 1998 general elections, with 2,006 votes, defeating former Attorney General Parnel Campbell who got 1558 votes running for the New Democratic Party. At that time Boyea ran on a Unity Labour Party ticket.{{more}}

In the general elections of March 28, 2001, Boyea contested on a People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) ticket, following a break-up with the ULP. His tally then was reduced to 440, in a three-way contest won by ULP’s Conrad Sayers with 1991 votes. The New Democratic Party’s candidate Joseph Bonadie obtained 1575 votes.

This time around, Boyea is sitting the election out. Despite this, his name has been surfacing with regularity during the campaign, especially in the Central Kingstown constituency.

Speaking to Searchlight in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Boyea stated, “I didn’t leave the ULP because of any lack of ability or lack of confidence in Dr. Gonsalves and the ULP.”

Continuing, he contended that “a lot of ideas the ULP are using are those that we had discussed and I had agreed to.”

Since the 2001 elections, Boyea and indeed the PPM have not been active politically, and Boyea has shifted his attention to his business operations. His newest venture is the opening of a EC$6 million supermarket, Aunt Jobe’s.

“Education was one of my pet subjects. I was the one who first raised in parliament that if we were in power, the only thing I would go into a deficit budget for was education,” Boyea said.

He contended that he liked the ULP’s ideas. “What they are doing is what I expected them to do. My problem with the ULP was their method of doing things,” Boyea stated.

He described Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as a “consummate politician.”

“He is a total politician. If he sees a gap, he jumps into it straight away. I tend to think more long term,” Boyea pointed out.

Boyea is satisfied that the ULP’s four-and-half years in office have been good.

“Any party would have been proud to do that work,” he outlined.

“My problem was with the polarisation of the country. I thought the results were a God-send. To me, that was the greatest opportunity to bring the country together. The country wanted change, but they weren’t yet sure of the leadership of the ULP,” Boyea stated.

The former ULP deputy leader contended that “some of the NDP members weren’t sure that they would accept the ULP leadership.”

Boyea became the subject of some controversy after his fall out with the ULP. But he has conceded that the “ULP’s first term was good.”

Boyea pondered why the ULP “still have to campaign very hard to win the next election.” For him, Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves’ personality has something to do with the apparent distaste with which some opponents view him.

“I don’t think anybody is against him for what he is doing. What they are against is the harshness of the methods that were used in the road-blocks and the things in those days,” Boyea declared.

The former Central Kingstown representative outlined: “I believe if he had taken a gentler approach to getting into power, there was no doubt that the ULP was going to win any election that was held after 1998.”

Boyea is surprised that the ULP has to mount such an aggressive campaign given their performance in office.

“They have forced this race into a presidential race,” Boyea outlined and he mused, “If there is a low turn out, it wouldn’t be good for the ULP.”

He added that the “NDP voters are going to turn out,” and suggested that “if the ULP machinery doesn’t keep the momentum going, their win might not be as big as it could be.”

He dismissed rumours that he had been on the ULP platform and had been actively campaigning.

“I am supporting their efforts,” Boyea stated, but made it clear that “I’m done with politics. I’m prepared to give support where it’s due.”

Prompted for comment, Boyea was not over generous to the opposition NDP and he dismissed the chances of third parties, noting their historical failure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He is hoping that the ULP “could build on their first five years,” and said, “I am not sure that the NDP is ready to go back into office.

“I am not sure that they have got rid of some of the things that were on their backs during the last few years of their administration,” Boyea said.

Boyea has pledged to concentrate on his business and wants to make a “smooth transition” to his five children.