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The Unity Labour Party's headquarters on Murray's Road, Kingstown. (IWN photo)
The Unity Labour Party’s headquarters on Murray’s Road, Kingstown. (IWN photo)
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The ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) on Wednesday showed off its rebranded headquarters at Murray Road, Kingstown, which it bought for $1.26 million, four months after receiving an eviction notice after amassing EC$100,000 in rental arrears over four years.

“This is a very proud moment for the Unity Labour Party and its members,” Prime Minister and Political Leader of the ULP Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference at the building on Wednesday.

“This is not a pride which is stuffed up. This is not a pride, which is ungodly. This is a pride which speaks towards the achievement of an ambition, a goal which has been set, and we have achieved this goal with the blessings of Almighty God and we give thanks to him,” Gonsalves said.

He announced that the party paid $1,263,022.50 for the building, which General Secretary of the ULP, Sen. Julian Francis, said will be known as “Labour House”.

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Gonsalves, who mortgaged his property at Frenches to help to make purchase the ULP headquarters, said that in addition to the EC$1.2 million paid for the building, the ULP paid EC$60,000 as 5 per cent stamp duty, … plus the registration fees of EC$3,022.50.

“… we have paid for this property and to register it, $1,263,022.50. You would also note that we did not make an application to the Cabinet for a waiver of stamp duty,” Gonsalves said.

He told reporters that when community organisations purchase properties, they often apply for and receive from the Cabinet a waiver of stamp duty.

In March, the former owner of the building, Lionel Coombs, gave the ULP an eviction notice after the party failed to pay rent since 2011, amassing EC$100,000 in arrears.

Political Leader of the ULP, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves speaks at the ULP press conference on Wednesday. (IWN photo)
Political Leader of the ULP, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves speaks at the ULP press conference on Wednesday. (IWN photo)

Gonsalves said on Wednesday that on April 21 the ULP signed with Coombs and agreement and paid EC$120,000 or 10 per cent of the purchase price.

The agreement gave the ULP 90 days to complete the purchase or lose the down payment, Gonsalves said.

He told reporters he had asked for four months, but Coombs said three months.

On July 1, the party was ready to complete the transaction and had their lawyer indicate to the Coombs’ lawyer that the ULP had the balance of the purchase price and they were ready to pay.

On July 21, Coombs signed the deed overseas, and when it was returned, the ULP’s lawyer passed the cheque to Coomb’s lawyer and the deed was registered on Aug. 5, Gonsalves said.

“We paid more than half of this money to the bank and Eloise and I borrowed the balance. I wanted this property to be free of any encumbrance and it is free of any encumbrance,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves and his wife are said to have borrowed EC$590,000 to help pay for the building, which will be held in trust by Gonsalves, Francis, Sir Louis Straker and Sir Vincent Beache.

“I had promised on March 28th at Calliaqua, I promised the party at our 14th anniversary celebrations this year that within a few months we would own this property,” Gonsalves said.

“You may recall that there were some forces wanted to throw a damp squib across our celebrations for our 14th anniversary with all sorts of things surrounding this property,” Gonsalves said, adding that it was a headline across media platforms that the ULP was going to be thrown out of its headquarters.

3 replies on “ULP pays $1.2 million for headquarters building (+Video)”

  1. If you sift through this article you may find an ounce of truth, not much more.

    But at the end of the day who cares because its really about ‘I did this, I did that” its not a statement its a bragging theatre.

  2. Brown Boy USA says:

    What’s the big deal! And to make mention that you did not apply to cabinet for a waiver of the registration fee. So you mean all Vincentians should be thankful that the Labour party has added to the treasury of the country? And why is only the Prime Minister and Julian Francis at the forefront of everything, every governmental or political even conducted by the Labour Party? What happened to the other members, the people’s elected officials, don’t they too have a voice or an opinion? The only time you appeared to hear them is at political rallies or in parliament. And you want to turn around and tell Vincentians that this is a party of inclusion, of unity…
    I’m not here to play party politics, I’m just fed up of the prime minister always want to make us feel that everything he does is to the benefit of this country and is something for which we should be grateful. It’s your darn job PM, that’s why you were elected, to work for and on behalf of the all people of SVG for the betterment of all us. So stop insulting our intelligence.

  3. For several months you all refused or could not pay the rent for the man,s house and then all of a sudden you buy it for so much money.Now you come with this cock and bull story but only those who worship you will believe this rubbish.Why not speak the truth for once.When are you going to pay civil servants the money.I believe they will be more interested to hear that than to hear you bragging and boasting about something that will benefit them in absolutely no way at all.Tell the unemployed youths how you intend to help them find employment.

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