Constituency groups should put end to  internal struggles – PM
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November 12, 2013

Constituency groups should put end to internal struggles – PM

Political Leader of the incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP) Dr Ralph Gonsalves has called on his supporters to stay united as the organization goes through a period of refreshing.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking at the Party’s National Council Meeting at the Peace Memorial Hall on Thursday, said that he was aware of struggles taking place within constituencies.

“I don’t want us to have any constituency divisions. I know it is the right of every single member of the party to offer himself or herself as a candidate and to have competitive elections within the party, but I believe that on the last occasion, the division in some constituencies and the internal campaigning of one person against another contributed to us not doing as well in some constituencies as we ought to have done.

“We must not make that mistake again. So if we have to go around, make the assessment, and if we come to a conclusion by way of an assessment, that “A” is preferable in the constituency to “B”, “C”, or “D”, we have to persuade “B”, “C”, or “D” to stand down and support “A”.

The leader asserted that there was a place for any member who offered himself or herself as candidates, but for whatever reasons, was not chosen.

He said that the record shows that the party has shown gratitude to persons who have offered service, and would continue to do so.

Gonsalves questioned the reason for the low turnout of delegates from the South Leeward constituency, and wondered if the constituency council was functioning properly.

During roll call, only 13 members were counted from that constituency.

Discussions during the open forum suggested that there were some internal issues there.

Gonsalves said that if the reason for the poor attendance is because of “pulling and tugging”, he will bring the struggle to an end.

“If we pull and tug in any constituency and you pull and tug so much that despite all the good work that we are doing, we lose the election, those very same persons will have no kingdom to enter; they will be in the cold.

“So, let us be very practical and understand what this matter is about.

“This party is bigger than any one individual. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than any person, anywhere at all throughout this country.

“The constituency councils have to work better. There is no doubt in my mind that if the constituency council was working better, then we would see more than 13 people turning up here.

Gonsalves said that a recent poll shows that if the election were to be called, voters would still elect the ULP candidate in the South Leeward constituency over the New Democratic Party’s candidate, despite not being clear on who the ULP candidate is.

This, he said, is because the electorate votes according to party and leadership.

“On the mainland, their (the NDP’s) weakest seats were North Leeward and South Leeward, and in those constituencies, we have among the greatest potential for internal division, with the number of persons who are offering themselves as candidates, and I have no problem with that; it’s only that we can’t carry on the division and the competition for much longer.

“We have to come to a determination, and when we come to that determination, everybody will agree in advance that whoever is decided upon… that persons will see this is how we should do it.

“In refreshing the party, some who were engaged in the process of refreshing in 2010 may not be part of the process as candidates in 2015; but whatever happens, the process of refreshing continues, and everybody must stay united and aboard,” Gonsalves stated.