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PM puts supporters on election re-run alert

PM puts supporters on election re-run alert


Supporters of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) have been alerted that general elections could be called at any time.

Addressing the party faithful last Sunday at the ULP’s 22nd annual convention, political leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves told those gathered at the Campden Park Secondary School that he had planned to have a re-run of general elections in February.

“I early wanted to stop all this foolishness by having a rerun on the 15th of February as a kind of Valentine’s Day love party.{{more}}

“It didn’t happen. But when these petitions get struck out, as I expect them to be…they better beware. They better beware. I want to make it stronger than ever for those who are going to succeed me,” Gonsalves said, to rousing applause.

The political leader and Prime Minister went on to say that he is not afraid and will never be afraid of elections.

“Any day you could turn on the radio and you could hear that I have secured the dissolution of Parliament by the Governor General. So, they want election, I might give them what they want.”

Supporters came out in droves decked in their red and carrying red flags with the ULP’s “Labour Love” slogan proudly on display.

The delegates at the convention were entertained by country and western singer Paul Kentish, who brought the crowd to their feet with his rendition. He was even joined on the mic by the Gonsalves, who seemed to be amused with the chorus of the song.

“I’m voting Labour, on my ballot paper,” was the chorus, which got thunderous applause and laughter from the audience each time it was sung.

Also moving the crowd to raucous laughter was the line: “…And if they don’t like it, they can put it in their pipe and they can smoke it.”

In usual ULP style, music played a central role at the convention and the supporters were as lively as ever, especially when the Prime Minister and political leader performed his popular dance ‘The Comrade Skank’.

Noticeably absent from Sunday’s activities were Minister of Health Luke Browne and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker, both of whom are overseas on government duties.

Tributes were paid to former deputy prime minister and the party’s former deputy political leader Girlyn Miguel by parliamentary representative for Marriaqua St Clair ‘Jimmy” Prince and president of the ULP’s women’s arm and former parliamentarian René Baptiste.

Miguel, who was also absent from Sunday’s event because of “a prior church commitment”, was replaced by Prince as the ULP’s candidate in the Marriaqua constituency in 2015.

On Sunday, during the closed session, Miguel was replaced by Sir Louis Straker as deputy political leader of the party in the only election that was held.

In the feature address, Gonsalves, in his usual style, wasted no time in awakening the crowd with his jabs and digs and the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

He noted that while he appreciates supporters calling in on radio programmes to express their displeasure at the NDP’s ‘antics’, he also wanted them to also point out the great work the ULP government is doing.

Gonsalves noted that the bill for the establishment of the Zero Hunger Trust Fund was passed within two months of the ULP being re-elected.

“Since the December elections, in accordance with the manifesto, we passed the law and put all the administrative arrangements in place to establish the Zero Hunger Trust Fund.”

Additionally he noted the increase in public assistance which was promised on the campaign trail is already being rolled out.

“Before January done, I paid the money. That was the good news in the month of January,” Gonsalves said to cheers.

“The good news in the month of January was our Estimates, which the NDP boycotted; the good news in February was our Budget…which the NDP also didn’t participate in,” he added.

Gonsalves noted that plans are already in place for the expansion of the cruise ship terminal, as well as the construction of the new port.

He also shared with the crowd the news of his health, which he said is good. He stated that his blood pressure and sugar were good and that he had no infectious diseases, which got loud applause from those gathered. He, however, disclosed he had stopped eating certain foods like pork, mutton, mushrooms and asparagus, which cause a build-up of uric acid and could lead to joint problems. (CM)