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Charles gets backing of former ULP opponent

Charles gets backing of former ULP opponent


Elvis Charles, Unity Labour Party (ULP)hopeful for the Central Kingstown constituency in the December 13 general elections, has received the endorsement of Berisford Phillips, the man he defeated on August 24 to become the party’s candidate in the constituency.{{more}}

Charles, a teacher, received the endorsement on Tuesday, November 30, at a meeting of the ULP in Redemption Sharpes in Central Kingstown.

Phillips, an insurance executive, said it had been rumored that he was supporting the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), but he wanted to set the record straight.

“Comrades, you know me for many years in this community. Do I look foolish to you? Comrades, do I look like if I will join the No Damn Party? Comrades, I am ULP and will always be ULP,” Phillips declared.

He said the “ordeal” of the last few months allowed him to examine the behavior of the NDP. He said supporters and persons in the hierarchy of the NDP who had not spoken to him for years were suddenly bowing down to him and telling him he is honourable and that they love him.

“How come I am honourable all of a sudden?” Phillips said he asked himself.

He also disclosed that he had been made offers by the NDP.

“I say to myself, I don’t understand something. These fellas are either downright foolish or desperate or both.”

“How could they even in their wildest dreams believe that I would become a member of the NDP?”

Saying that his appearance on the ULP platform was an indication of his “never dying support” for the ULP, Phillips advised listeners to support the ULP, and spoke of ULP administration’s education revolution, their housing policy and the international airport project.

He also said the country needed to be saved from “tyranny”, “dictatorship”, “power hungry men” and “from a disaster that will happen” if NDP is voted into office.

He called on his personal supporters to throw their weight behind the ULP.

“I am calling on those persons who are very good supporters of mine…. I am asking you kindly; I am begging you, let us support the Unity Labour Party. Let us save our country. Support Elvis Charles…. I am fully behind the party and I am asking you to support Elvis.”

After Phillps spoke, a clearly emotional Charles said a weight had been lifted from him.

“Tonight Berisford and I, we are singing from the same song sheet. Comrade, I am happy, I am happy to have Berisford in my corner.”

He said he had longed for the time when he and Berisford would work together.

“I really, really love tonight. I love this man. I love the pledge he has made,” Charles said.

Charles is in a three-way fight for the Central Kingstown seat against St. Claire Leacock of the NDP and leader of the Green Party, Ivan O’Neal. The present holder of the seat, Conrad Sayers of the ULP is not contesting the election.

On August 24, when Charles defeated Phillips by 65 votes to 63, to win the nod to contest the Central Kingstown seat for the ULP, Phillips had said he was “terribly upset” intended to challenge the result.