April 21, 2015
New candidates make strong contributions at ULP convention

The persons who were recently selected to contest the upcoming general elections on the ticket of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) made strong representations to party supporters, as they were officially introduced at the national convention last Sunday.

From Central Kingstown’s Berisford Phillips calling himself ‘The General’, to Luke Browne in East Kingstown likening himself to Usain Bolt, the candidates used their time at the podium to rally support for themselves and the party, as they prepare to go to the polls in less than a year’s time.{{more}}

The candidates all confidently predicted a victorious fourth term for the party, which held its convention at the Campden Park Secondary School, under the theme “Labour: Great leadership, strong performance. Leh we go, four in a row.”

Phillips, one of the candidates who will contest elections for the first time, promoted himself to a higher rank, in response

to his rival, New Democratic Party (NDP) incumbent St Clair Leacock, who goes by the moniker ‘The Major’.

“Is endless blows from Beris for Leacock. I am not afraid of him. He told the people of Central Kingstown that he is The Major, but I am The General…. Comrades I sharing blows in Central Kingstown. If the Major think that I an easy pushover let him test me,” Phillips stated confidently to his delegates and the rest of the convention.

North Leeward candidate Carlos James, in a spirited delivery that was enthusiastically received by party stalwarts, said that in the last 14 years, the ULP has brought about a revolution that has liberated the people through the social policies of Dr Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP. He spoke of the Government’s work in education, health, housing, poverty reduction and the construction of the international airport.

He spoke of the significance of the number four in nature and life, saying, “…We’re going into a historic fourth term, never been done … in the state of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Four does not seem to be a bad number! It is a number for Comrade, it is his gift, a fourth term, a fourth election, a fourth victory!”

Representing Marriaqua, newcomer St Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince hailed the guidance and leadership of party leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“Dr Gonsalves took this party and this country in the heart of all turmoil… and made St Vincent and the Grenadines a country which we are all proud to live in and we thank him for that.”

Prince also thanked his predecessor Girlyn Miguel for her representation in government as well as in the constituency for the past 17 years.

Jomo Thomas in South Leeward encouraged supporters to “keep the fire burning,” reminding the voters that the ULP was the change that was needed.

A more subdued Deborah Charles, who goes up against West Kingstown incumbent Daniel Cummings of the NDP, reminded the masses of the choices they are set to make as they go to the polls when the elections are called.

“Comrades of Labour, in the next elections you must choose Ralph Gonsalves and the shining star of Labourites who stand before you today.

“I believe that West Kingstown has a positive story to tell and over the next few months I will tell that West Kingstown story, while at the same time, promoting the values

that would build our communities,” Charles promised.

Absent from the gathering was East St George’s newcomer Camillo Gonsalves, who was out of state. He, however, provided a recorded message, and later spoke in person during the afternoon session when he returned to the country.

Though not a newcomer to the political arena, Luke Browne pointed out that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, while not successful in his first outing at the CARIFTA Games, returned the following year and swept his sprint events, before dominating the world track and field scene.

“The experience, however, was good for him, as it helped him to understand what he had to do to win.

“Similarly, I didn’t win the first time around, but I have been training, I have been preparing and I am ready for this race. I am older now, I am stronger now, I am faster now, I am better now. I am ready to win in East Kingstown….”

Returning to the political arena, Sir Louis Straker in Central Leeward promised that the constituency would remain in the ULP fold.

Also addressing the gathering were candidates Montgomery Daniel for North Windward, South Central Windward’s Saboto Caesar, South Wind­ward’s Frederick Stephenson, West St George’s Cecil Mckie, Herman Belmar of the Northern Grenadines, Edwin Snagg of the Southern Grenadines and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, representing North Central Windward.