ST. VINCENT: – The ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) moved it campaign to Lowmans Windward on Sunday, Sept. 12, with platform speakers recounting the party’s performance, acknowledging disgruntlement, and encouraging party supporter to own the campaign.
Elvis Charles, who in his first outing at the poll is try to become the party’s representative in Central Kingstown, traced the ULP’s accomplishment in education.
Charles, a career teacher, said there was a “rebirth of learning” when the ULP came to office in 2001, with both teachers and students benefiting from the “education revolution”.
He said the number of teachers with university degrees has increased from four to 400, while the administration has provided universal access to secondary education. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
A vote against the ULP is a vote to stop all that, he said, adding, “Comrades, this government has not failed you. It has not disappointed you. People are happier under the ULP.”
But while Charles said that the party had “not disappointed”, Senator Michele Fife, who is also making her first outing at the polls, appealed to disgruntled supporters not to vote for the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
“Yes, mistakes were made. Yes, there are soldiers amongst us who feel forgotten. Yes, there are soldiers among us who feel that they didn’t get what they should have gotten. But, let me tell you something, let me tell you something: [You] can’t [make] them go [there]. You think that you would be better if they go [there]?” said Fife, the ULP’s candidate for West Kingstown.
“… There is nothing new about the New Democratic Party. So, that is why those of us who are here who feel disgruntled, who feel overlooked, who feel as if we’ve been passed by, we gotta regroup, we gotta recharge and we gotta move forward,” said Fife, a lawyer and former national beauty queen.
Senator Saboto Caesar is hoping to be elected as the ULP’s candidate in South Central Windward, the constituency where the rally was held. He said he was starting his house-to-house campaign on Monday, Sept. 13 at 7 a.m. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
He said that “a group of NDP persons” had written a letter to the Caribbean Development Bank to halt the construction of a market in Union.
“Comrades, I received a letter on Friday on my desk – passed to me — that a group of NDP supporters are working tediously to stop the market,” said Caesar, who is also Minister of Housing.
“How could they say that they love farmers when they don’t want the farmers to get the market,” he said.
Prime Minister and ULP leader Dr. Ralph Gonsalves returned Sunday night from Cuba.
He told the rally that he discussed further with the government in Havana, issues related to the international airport, education cooperation, and a programme to provide assistance to mental and physically challenged Vincentians.
Gonsalves further spoke of $5 million dollars he said was deposited into the accounts of Behavioural Dynamic Institute, which he said was a sidekick company of Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the NDP’s election consultants.
NDP president and opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has said that the NDP had not received any $5 million.
He said that in 2001, an entity with which the NDP was associated had shipped two containers, which were each later found to contain 100 kilograms of cocaine.
“All I am saying, when people come from outside, you have to be careful who you associate with, I am not saying that those whom they are currently associated with were the persons. I am just putting this piece of information, which has come to me, in the public domain,” Gonsalves said.
He called on party supporters to “own this campaign” saying if they don’t ensure a bigger victory, “well then something will be wrong with our people and when to suck salt, well yo’ go bawl like cattle”.
General elections are due by March 2011. The ULP won the 2001 and 2005 general elections 12 seats to the NDP’s three.