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Candidates jump off Green Party ship ahead of Nomination Day

Candidates jump off Green Party ship ahead of Nomination Day


A former SVG Green Party politician, Susan Simon, has described party leader Ivan O’Neal as a “political comedian” with an “island unto himself” philosophy.

Simon contested the 2010 General Elections on a Green Party ticket in East St George and this time around{{more}} had planned to run in the North Windward constituency.

She has, however, opted out because of what she described as O’Neal’s “unprofessionalism.”

“After years with the Green Party, I have found out that the party’s philosophy is an island by itself. I aligned myself to the party because I, like many nationals, believed that we needed a change of our political system to one that would create sustainable employment,” said Simon on Tuesday at SEARCHLIGHT’s office at Lower Kingstown Park.

She said that she was with the Green Party up to September, but noticed that O’Neal was only campaigning with one other candidate and not informing the other members of the party.

“I see this as a two-man party; we are not moving as a team, so I am finished with it,” said Simon, who added that when she asked O’Neal about the campaign and why the other members were not being allowed to take part, he would answer by saying, “we would talk; you know it’s not a problem.”

She stressed that O’Neal has never tried to meet with her or any other member to discuss the issue and she is of the opinion that the party has financial problems and the leader does not want to say so.

Simon said that she and the members of the executive board asked O’Neal who was financing the party and he answered, “I Ivan O’Neal is financing it,” while he also revealed that, “he was getting 51,000 pounds to borrow from his account in England.” She said that his answers confused her, but she went on to ask him how much money he would put into the campaign in North Windward, but his answer was, “we will talk about it and he never come up with a meeting or anything.”

Simon is of the opinion that, with her input, the party would have been able to capture some seats at the December 9 elections. She secured 12 of the 5,257 votes cast in East St George the last time around.

“I don’t think they would have been able to win all 15 seats, but to me, out in my area in North Windward, there was a vast amount of people there supporting me,” said Simon, who revealed that when O’Neal opened his headquarters at Calder Gate on August 9, his party manager paid EC$140 “for an empty van” and it was she who had to get persons from Fancy and Georgetown to come to the opening so that O’Neal and the party members would not have been the only ones there.

“I was the backbone of Ivan O’Neal,” said the farmer, who is also a board member of the supervisory committee of Fairtrade International.

“There is no juice inside it,” she said of the Green Party, adding “he just want to be by himself; he just playing games.”

Simon said that when she was first approached by O’Neal, she decided to join him, although she was a staunch supporter of the Unity Labour Party (ULP).

“….he came and told me we needed a change and I said yes, because he seemed motivated and positive, but now it doesn’t seem that way. He had about eight persons, but it seems like now everybody backed out because he don’t want to finance the campaign.”

Simon, who lives in Georgetown, added that O’Neal has never paid her to be a candidate, but he did pay the EC$500 nomination fee for the last general elections.

Another candidate, Jason Simon, who was slated to run in Marriaqua for the Green Party, has also pulled out.

“I was asked by the SVG Green Party leader to do a TV ad and was asked also to be the political candidate for Marriaqua in the upcoming general election. I did the ad without finance. The leader of the SVG Green Party has not proved to me that he is a winner and I want the public to know that I distance myself from the SVG Green Party’s leader,” said Simon in a letter.

When contacted on Wednesday, O’Neal said that everybody is entitled to their opinion. He said that Simon is free to do what she wants. When asked about his slate of candidates, the Green Party man said that he will reveal that today, Nomination Day, Friday, November 20, while he says that he will support the New Democratic Party (NDP) in certain areas.

In 2010, the Green Party contested 13 of the 15 seats, garnering a total of 138 votes.

O’Neal also refused to sign the Christian Council code of conduct for the elections on Tuesday and when asked his reasons, he said that he did not receive duty free concessions on his election imports and that the Government has not proclaimed the Freedom of Information Act, which was passed since 2003.(LC)