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Dr. Lewis stakes claim for East St. George seat

Dr. Lewis stakes claim for East St. George seat


The constituents of East St. George are tired of poor representation under Clayton Burgin, the current Area Representative, and come next General Elections he will be removed, says lawyer and businessman Dr. Linton Lewis.{{more}}

Lewis, before a packed audience at the Anglican Parish Hall at Calliaqua, was presented as the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate for East St. George in the upcoming General Elections.

His endorsements came from the NDP’s top brass: Arnhim Eustace, the NDP’s Political Leader, and Sir James Mitchell, founder of the NDP. Support also came from former Area Representative Louis Jones who had held the seat for 13 years.

Lewis spoke passionately of his plans to develop East St.George and to provide representation for all constituents whether they are supporters of the NDP or Unity Labour Party (ULP).

He told the large gathering that they were gracious enough to grant Burgin two terms in office, which has allowed him to secure a pension and gratuity. However, the time had come for the Area Representative to be someone who has the capabilities to dispense the best representation possible.

“Sometimes it pains me. It really pains me to hear the type of representation that we are getting from East St.George in the House of Parliament. I am saying the time has come when we should get back the pride and dignity we are accustomed to in East St.George,” said Lewis to a round of applause from the large gathering.

Even Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Political Leader of the ULP, is not happy with Burgin’s representation, Lewis stated.

“Time for Clayton Burgin to go!” he remarked.

“Clayton Burgin has never held a base in East St.George. The Labour Party may well have had a base in East St.George, but opposed to what? A number of persons have said that East St. George is the Labour Party constituency. That isn’t true. They have all forgotten that 13 years of NDP has been in governing East St. George,” said Lewis.

Lewis disclosed that he will be taking a proposal to the NDP soon which will explore the country’s Merchant Shipping Act. He said he is confident that this will create new employment opportunities for the young people of East St.George. He also plans to embark on a project to give East St. George a facelift.

“Calliaqua was at one time the bedrock of the Labour Party, and I am heartened to say to you tonight even looking at the audience that the people of Calliaqua have seen the light and have now decided to change from the Unity Labour Party and support the New Democratic Party overwhelmingly,” said Lewis.

He used the opportunity to thank the people of Belmont and Fairbane Pasture for the support they gave the NDP during the Referendum. He expressed the desire to have their support in the upcoming General Elections.

Lewis also showered praise on the residents of Fair Hall, Glen, Glamorgan, Choppins, Prospect, Diamond, Enhams, and Brighton.

He applauded the young people for making their presence felt in the audience.

“It says one thing, and that is the young people of East St.George are getting up, taking the mantle, making their contributions, and showing that they can be involved in positive things and positive contributions to their respective communities,” said Lewis.

He said the young men and women of every group in Calliaqua, including Flat Bush, Rolling Deep, and High Rollers, have promised him their support in the upcoming General Elections.

During the upcoming General Elections, Lewis said he intends to captitalize on the popular social network Facebook, used by lots of Vincentians, especially youths.

He disclosed that he was able to extend special invitations to a number of them for Thursday night’s meeting.

In 2005, when Lewis challenged Burgin for the seat on the NDP ticket, he received 1,952 votes, while Burgin secured the constituency with 2,652 votes.

Burgin had first clinched the East St.George seat in 2001, winning comfortably with 2,722 of the 4,586 votes cast. Louis Jones, of the NDP, who had held the seat for 13 years, lost back then to Burgin with 1,289 votes.

Lewis is confident that the tide has changed this time around in his favour, and he is confident that sufficient inroads have been made by the NDP to score a solid victory. (HN)