With what was termed an “unveiling”, the United Progressive Party (UPP) officially revealed its slate of candidates to contest the next general election against the incumbent Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
They are: MP Wilmoth Daniel in St. John’s City West; Harold Lovell in St. John’s City East; Michael Burton in St. John’s City South;
Richard Lewis in St. John’s Rural West; Kyron Simon in St. John’s Rural South; Trevor Young in St. John’s Rural East; Dr. McChesney Emanuel in St. John’s Rural North; Jonathan Joseph in St. Mary’s North; Cortwright Marshall in St. Mary’s South; Jamal Pringle in All Saints East and St. Luke; Lammin Newton in All Saints West; George Wehner in St. George; Colin Isaac in St. Peter; Gregory “Driftwood” Athill in St. Paul; Shawn Nicholas in St. Phillip North; and Chester Hughes in St. Phillip South.
In the 17th constituency of Barbuda the UPP does not run a candidate but instead has an alliance with the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM).
The UPP will present a total of 12 new candidates for the next general election – Burton, Lewis, Simon, Young, Emanuel, Marshall, Pringle, Newton, Wehner, Isaac, Joseph and Athill.
There has also been a near-total overhaul of the placement for the political hopefuls. Only party leader, Lovell, and party secretary Nicholas, remain in the constituencies they contended in 2014.
Former party leader, and current Opposition Leader in the House of Parliament, MP Baldwin Spencer, has long-since declared his interest in vacating his post as party leader and resigning from active politics once his current term in Parliament ends.
Former party deputy, Dr. Jaqui Quin, also resigned her post a year ago as she cited medical reasons for staying away from active politics.
Hilson Baptiste, Chanlah Codrington, Mervyn Richards and John Maginley have all also indicated their desire not to contest the upcoming elections.
MP Joanne Massiah, had been ousted by the party sighting irreconcilable differences which played out in the public domain for the better part of two years since the 2015 UPP general convention where Lovell was named as party leader.
Massiah has since started her own party – Democractic National Alliance (DNA) – and has presented four candidates of her own thus far with a promise for a full slate of 17 candidates which would include herself.
Eleston “Namba” Adams has also found himself on the outside of the party. The former host of the Crusader Radio show, Eye on the Issues, had since been removed from the show by party brass and replaced with the slate of candidates who rotate hosting duties throughout his former time slot.
The UPP today, will begin its process towards convincing the Antigua and Barbudan people their slate described as ‘people-guided and business-minded,’ is touted as an astute mix of experience and youthful energy and competent enough to replace the incumbent Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
The candidates were unveiled today, Sunday November 5, at the headquarters of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union on lower Newgate Street.