May 30, 2014
Did Star Radio let cat out of the bag?

Star Radio, the official organ of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) may have let the cat out the bag Wednesday, when they announced the names of the persons selected to be candidates for the ULP in two constituencies for the next general elections.{{more}}

Just before 9 a.m., host of the morning programme Anthony Dennie announced to listeners that Carlos James and Jomo Thomas had been selected as the candidates for the North and South Leeward constituencies respectively.

Dennie said that the announcement had first been made by general secretary of the ULP Julian Francis on radio the night before.

However, Francis had made no such announcement on his ULP Speaks programme Tuesday night, a fact Dennie was made aware of, as he quickly came back on air and apologized, saying, contrary to what he had announced earlier, no candidates had been selected for those constituencies.

When Francis closed his programme Tuesday night, what he did say was that there had been a resolution in the matter of candidacy for North and South Leeward.

“In both areas, there has been a resolution, and the constituency councils will be activated within a very short space of time to have these matters dealt with.”

He said the individuals concerned had all agreed on “a certain course of action” and they will be telling their supporters what the decision is.

Francis said within a “very short space of time,” the constituency councils would meet.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, social networking site Facebook had been abuzz with news that Senator Jomo Thomas had been selected ahead of Grenville Williams, who had also been vying for selection to contest the seat on a ULP ticket. Several ULP supporters had made posts declaring that Thomas had been selected to contest the seat.

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Thomas on Wednesday, he said no official announcement had been made by the party as to who would be the candidate for South Leeward.

“I had a meeting last night with the leadership of the party and I think it will be fair to say that the story regarding my candidacy, or the possibility of my candidacy was broken on Facebook…,” he said.

“I know that the party has a machinery and it has procedure which it follows and I know for a fact that the party machinery has a national executive committee, candidate selection committee, there’s a constituency executive. All of these are mechanisms within the party which I presume would be activated in order to arrive at a particular decision.

“As I sit here now, no decision has been made by the ULP and there has been no official announcement by the ULP as to who the candidate would be for South Leeward,” Thomas, a lawyer, said.

He said he was not at liberty to discuss what took place at the meeting, except to say that a number of important issues regarding the ULP, economy, party members and the country were discussed.

“I can say to you, when that meeting ended at about quarter to eight, there was no pronouncement or announcement that I was the candidate for South Leeward. I am not being coy here. I am just telling you what transpired.”

The battle for candidacy in North Leeward seems to be a straight fight between young lawyer Carlos James and former parliamentary representative Dr Jerrol Thompson. A third contender, teacher Lawrence Hooper, also threw his hat in the ring late last year.