December 3, 2010
ULP launches candidates in a sea of red

Similar to the introduction of the United States basketball ‘Dream Team’, supporters of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) were official introduced to their ‘Star Team’ in grand style at the Victoria Park last weekend.{{more}}

Throngs of ULP supporters packed the arena, which borders the West and Central Kingstown constituencies, on Sunday, November 28, for their first official view of the candidates who will be contesting the 15 parliamentary seats in the December 13 general elections, following nominations which took place two days earlier.

The ‘soca monarch’ size crowd, with an atmosphere to match, was described as one of the largest crowds to gather at the venue outside of a Carnival event for the first in a long time.

Master of Ceremonies Dr Douglas Slater, the South Leeward representative who made way for one of the new candidates described as ‘the fresh faces’, introduced the candidates with all the pomp and ceremony of any international sporting event.

The candidates, as they took to the podium, introduced themselves, some briefer than others, and thanked all who were responsible for their nominations.

They used the opportunity to outline their plans for their constituencies and the country, if and when they are elected to parliament.

The events of the night were interspersed by a number of performances by local artistes, who entertained the assembly with songs that the party has been using as part of its campaign since election fever hit the country.

The candidates were introduced in the order: Elvis Charles, Central Kingstown; Luke Browne, East Kingstown; Michelle Fife, West Kingstown; Maxwell Charles, Central Leeward; Jerrol Thompson, North Leeward; Clayton Burgin, East St. George; Cecil Mckie, West St. George; Girlyn Miguel, Marriaqua; Mongomery Daniel, North Windward; Saboto Caesar, South Central Windward; David Browne, South Leeward; Frederick Stephenson, South Central Windward; Herman Belmar, Northern Grenadines; Edwin Snagg, Southern Grenadines; and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, party leader and Prime Minister, North Central Windward.

Dr. Gonsalves, in the feature address of the night, described the Star Team as a group with a range of skills, training, experiences, interests and aptitudes, who he said were fit for a purpose of collective leadership.

“Each of us has been formerly educated at the post secondary level and beyond. Among us are persons who have had working experiences in the fields of teaching, business, the law, farming and agriculture, diplomacy, trade unionism, the public service and medicine.”

“Each of us is committed to serving the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Each of us is possessed of a love for our neighbors, our people, individually and collectively.”

Of the eight ‘fresh faces’, the political leader said that it was the first time in St. Vincent and the Grenadines political history, that a major mass political party is fielding more than fifty per cent of the candidates with an emphasis on youth.

“Luke Browne is 25 years old. Saboto Caesar and Michelle Fife are 29. Frederick Augustus Stephenson and David Browne are in their 30s. Elvis Charles and ‘Ces’ Mckie are in their 40s, and Maxwell Charles, though in his mid fifties, has worked most of his life with young people in his roles as teacher or pastor.

“These young candidates embody our party’s acknowledgement that our children and young persons are our most precious assets. Our children and youths represent our country’s future and are the carriers and continuators of the nobility of our civilization.”

Of the New Democratic Party, Dr. Gonsalves said that the Opposition was increasingly becoming a reactionary and politically backward entity.

“This is the first time since independence that the two main political parties in this country has such a marked difference in political outlook, policies and programmes.”

“The people know instinctively, if you are in politics for them or for your own selfishness, personal glory and benefit, that is why the people will never elect the bunch of rabble in the New Democratic Party.”

The Prime Minister called on his party’s supporters to join with his new candidates and the political veteran; whom he called ‘The Magnificent Seven’ to ensure that his party has another term in government. (JJ)