Political hopefuls say no ULP ‘pulling, tugging’ in North Leeward
November 15, 2013
Political hopefuls say no ULP ‘pulling, tugging’ in North Leeward

Two hopefuls for a place on the final slate of candidates for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) in the next general elections say that there is no “pulling and tugging,” as far as they are aware, in the constituency that they are eyeing.{{more}}

Potential candidates Lawrence Hooper and Carlos James, both hoping to contest the next general elections for the ULP in the North Leeward constituency, say that they would support the individual who garners the most support from the people and wins the right to represent them in the elections.

Hooper, a Petit Bordel resident, who teaches at the Chateaubelair Primary School, told SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday that he is prepared to go along with who- ever wins; however, there are some supporters who would throw political “jabs” here and there.

“I will stand behind whoever is selected, and I expect them to stand behind me,” Hooper stated.

“I think each of us need to do our work, informing the residents and at the end of the day, it is going to come down to showing respect and unity. Some punches are already being throw; we don’t want that kinda thing, that should be for the other side.”

Hooper told SEARCHLIGHT that he had been a supporter of former parliamentary representative Jerrol Thompson, and had campaigned for him during previous elections.

He indicated that he is also a friend of James, but in stepping forward, he is fulfilling the wish of his people.

“I always tell Carlos if you get the nod, I am behind you 100 per cent. If Jerrol gets the nod, I am going to be behind him 100 per cent, it doesn’t matter; but the people asked for me to step up and represent them and I am just doing my thing,” explained Hooper.

“I’ve been a community activist for a very long time. I’ve been involved in sports with a lot of sports organizations. I have been a champion for the environment and education in North Leeward and I have contacts with people, especially the young and middle-aged.

“I have always been interested in representing my people, because I live among my people all the time. I know their high and low points, and being a resident there, I believe that North Leeward needs someone who resides in North Leeward, somebody who they could always get in touch with.”

The older brother of former soca monarch Delroy “Fireman” Hooper said that he has the full support of his family and friends, which spans the entire constituency. He also believes that his brother’s popularity could help his cause. Hooper is of the view that if he is chosen, he will give the New Democratic Party incumbent Roland “Patel” Matthews a sound beating.

Also throwing his hat in the ring, Carlos James thinks that he has a great chance of bringing the constituency back to the ULP fold, should he be selected to represent the people at the polls.

The Troumaca-born lawyer told SEARCHLIGHT that a call for change in the area has picked up momentum, and he believes that ULP supporters will nominate and select a credible candidate to represent them and win the seat in the next elections.

James said that there is no tension between him and Hooper, with whom he says he has a good relationship. He describes Thompson as a “wonderful human being,” and said that he too would support the individual selected by party supporters.

“My position is this: let the people make that decision, whether it’s by an assessment or whether it is through the rightful democratic process, which is the internal elections….

“We have to look at selecting candidates who can represent North Leeward, not just in the community, but we have to consider candidates who can give good representation at a parliamentary level, at the Cabinet level, and even regionally and internationally.

“Candidates who are qualified to make such representations at the highest levels of government, administratively and otherwise, while having deep ties with the communities that they represent.”

The Media and Communications major, who also holds an LLB with honours and a Master’s Degree in law, says that although he no longer lives in the North Leeward community, he is there at least five times a week, and continues to contribute to the social, cultural and educational development of the area.

Dr Jerrol Thompson, the ULP caretaker of the constituency, was out of state Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. He is the director of special projects in the Ministry of Telecommunications, and won the North Leeward seat in 2001 and 2005.

In the 2010 internal elections, Thompson was selected unopposed to contest the election against Matthews. He was unsuccessful in his bid.

During the ULP’s national council meeting on November 7, political leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves identified the North and South Leeward constituencies as the constituencies with the greatest potential for internal division, and called for the end of “pulling and tugging” within the party. (JJ)