Our Readers' Opinions
September 30, 2005
Political heat picking up

It could be more of the same when the Unity Labour Party (ULP) campaign wagon rolls into the Central Leeward town of Barrouallie this Sunday.

There is a definite rise in the political barometer as the distance in the marathon shortens to the next election as Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves refers to the process.{{more}}

Elections are constitutionally due by July 2006, but Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has been keeping the date close to his chest as is his prerogative under the existing constitution.

Meanwhile the ULP has been holding a series of meetings over the past two months with the latest being at the Redemption Sharpes Playing Field last Sunday evening.

The meeting gave obvious satisfaction to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who expressed happiness with the crowd, and compared their vibrancy to any of the rallies staged since July 24 at Langley Park.

The Prime Minister commended the supporters for “staying firm with the ULP,” amidst rain, lightening, thunder, a muddy playing field, narrow roads and traffic congestion in reference to the pre-meeting conditions, which threatened the gathering.

But, buoyed by the energy from supporters, clad in their shades of red outfits, complete with flags, banners, portraits of their representatives, bells and other symbols, Dr. Gonsalves rallied his supporters.

“You can’t stop this party,” Dr. Gonsalves said as he described the ULP as the “most remarkable mass party in the Caribbean.”

Another victory

He praised the performance of Area Representative Conrad Sayers and predicted another victory for the candidate who defeated former Health Minister Joseph ‘Burns’ Bonadie, representing the NDP, as well as former parliamentarian Ken Boyea the incumbent to take the Central Kingstown Constituency in the March 28, 2001 poll.

Dr. Gonsalves bolstered Sayers standing and declared that St. Clair Leacock, the new NDP candidate for Central Kingstown was not up to the calibre of either of the candidates Sayers had beaten.

Dr. Gonsalves repeated claims of a leadership battle within the NDP and accused Leacock of wanting to be the Party leader.

A number of other speakers addressed the gathering in a programme interspersed with a series of cultural performances, including the First Choice Gospel Band who set the stage with an interlude of songs and Skinny Fabulous with a lively set capped with a pro-ULP chant.

South Central Windward representative Selmon Walters, urged the supporters to return the ULP to office while Health and Environment Minister Dr. Dougie Slater came in for praise for increasing the Nursing Training programme.

The ULP’s General Secretary Senator Julian Francis also alluded to apparent disorder within the NDP during his brief address. He cited differences in approach to the monitoring process of the upcoming election for which the Christian Council is expected to play a part.

But for added impact Francis ordered that all lights be turned off and asked the crowd to hold aloft their lighted cell phones. The proliferation of the phones were credited to the work of Dr. Jerrol Thompson, minister responsible for Telecommunications.