With political parties yet to get out of the starting blocks following the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) historic clean sweep of the 2018 polls, the United Progressive Party (UPP) is upping its readiness for the next elections.
This afternoon, the three-year-old party unveiled three candidates to contest the constituencies of St Lucy, St George South and St George North. Ambrose Grosvenor is to vie for the constituency of St George North, Everton ‘Heru’ Holligan is to carry the party’s banner in St George South and Wayne T. Griffith is to do battle in St Lucy.
In a statement released to the media, the UPP stated that it was “pleased to announce that during its Annual General Meeting held on Saturday, 9 March 2019 the first of its political candidates were confirmed to contest the next general elections constitutionally due by 2023. These three very capable persons approached the Party and expressed their desire to fly the party’s flag”.
St George South caretaker Holligan, a health and wellness practitioner, contested the neighbouring St George North constituency in last May’s polls where he was defeated by Deputy Speaker of the House Gline Clarke. He contends that due to his “lifelong association with the people of St George South”, he would fare better against Minister of Small Business Dwight Sutherland – who carried the riding by close to 4,000 votes.
Griffith is attempting to make a second go for the St Lucy seat after losing to Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Peter Phillips. The seat was considered a stronghold of the just ousted Democratic Labour Party (DLP), with former Minister of Housing Dennis Kellman holding that seat for 24 years.
Ambrose, a former banker, will be throwing his hat in the election ring for the first time.
In congratulating the trio, party chairman Lynette Eastmond, said “she is pleased to have these successful professionals and community-minded men as candidates”, according to the statement, underscoring the importance of building strong communities. She said this was the key to addressing many of the social and indeed economic issues Barbados was now facing, the release added.
Eastmond issued an invitation to individuals with “interest in the betterment of Barbados” to become members of the UPP and offer themselves for political leadership positions.
So far the DLP, the second oldest political party, which formed the government for ten years until last year, is yet to confirm any candidates for 2023. There has also been very little evidence of troop movement from the fledgling Solutions Barbados.