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Beache gets the nod by five in South Windward

Beache gets the nod by five in South Windward


When the Unity Labour Party (ULP) goes to the polls in the upcoming general elections, the person contesting the South Windward seat for the ULP will be Senator Glen Beache. He is the son of the present constituency representative, veteran politician Sir Vincent Beache, who has indicated that he will be retiring from active politics.

Young Beache got the nod over party Chairman Robbie Fitzpatrick last Saturday evening, July 23, following a vote held during a meeting of the South Windward Constituency Conference at the Carapan Secondary School. {{more}}

The school hall and yard were filled to capacity with the party’s top brass including party political leader, Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, deputy political leader Louis Straker, other parliamentarians, hundreds of party supporters and curious onlookers.

In their three minute speeches, both candidates made final appeals to the gathering for support. But when it was time to cast ballots, only 279 of the persons present were eligible. Voting by secret ballot took about an hour, and it was another tension-filled hour before party General Secretary, Julian Francis returned to the room to announce the results.

It could not have been much closer. Beache edged his way past Fitzpatrick with a 142 to 137 victory.

When Searchlight caught up with the Senator after the announcement, he was surrounded by his supporters, and the relief was visible on his face. “I am happy with the victory. I would like to thank all those who came out to support me and Robbie. We have a lot of work to do now, as much as South Windward is considered the most progressive constituency, there is still a lot of work to be done. I think the ULP showed exactly what the democratic process is all about with this internal election.”

Speaking on the WE FM morning radio show on Tuesday, July 26, Party Chairman Fitzpatrick said, “I am satisfied with the result. It was an uphill struggle from the start. Glen Beache is the son of the incumbent Sir Vincent Beache who has been the constituency representative for 11 years. Glen Beache himself is a Senator, so I knew from the onset it was a Hurculean task.”

He continued, “I made myself available and they decided who they want. They decided Glen Beache. Despite this, I only lost by 5 votes. I am satisfied.”

When asked if he would support Beache’s candidacy, Fitzpatrick replied, “I am the Chairman of the ULP, and that speaks volumes.” He refuted rumours that he would be switching to the NDP and added,“It is because the people have confidence in me why they elected me Chairman of the party. To say that I would leave is a rumour.”

As for his future in politics, Fitzpatrick said: “I know that I will not be running in this general elections,” but he is not sure what will happen after that. He pledged to continue to work as a “change agent” in his community as he has been doing for the last 30 years.

The results now have to go to a seven-member Candidates’ Selection Committee. This committee will recommend the person to contest the poll to the party’s Central Executive, who will assess the constituency in light of the vote. The National Council will then adopt a candidate based on the recommendations of the Candidate Selection Committee. All of this is a mere formality barring some unforeseen occurrence.