At a high-spirited convention held on Sunday, Harold Lovell retained his leadership of the United Progressive Party (UPP). He won by an overwhelming margin of 245-63 votes over his lone challenger, Richard Lewis, who assured everyone that he will give his full support to Lovell.
The re-elected political leader’s deputy is Jamale Pringle, the UPP’s only elected Member of Parliament who serves as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.
Also on Sunday, the UPP’s incumbent chairperson D. Gisele Isaac easily brushed off a challenge for her position by the party’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Damani Tabor, with a crushing margin of 237-75 voted.
Tabor wasted no time in accepting defeat with a concession speech in which he pledged to continue working to build the party and enhance its chance of being returned to office in the future.
Chester Hughes was also victorious in his bid for the vice-chairman position after his two opponents resigned on the floor.
Shawn Nicholas retained her position as General Secretary, dusting off her challenger Michele Lynch by 260-45 votes, while Rachel Collis’ bid to become UPP Treasurer could only muster 56 votes to George Daniel’s 236.
The other positions include: Assistant Secretary, Ayanna Baptiste; Assistant Treasurer, Leon George; Treasurer, Dr. George Daniel; Public Relations Officer, Cortwright Marshall; Welfare Officer, Ralston Paige; Mobilisation Officer, George Wehner; Labour Relations Officer, Collin Isaac; Education Officer, Jonathan Joseph; Welfare Officer, Gladdis Potter; and Elections Officer, Chris Jarvis.
With over 300 persons in attendance, the UPP Convention got off to a good start and ended on a high and hopeful note. The convention – under the theme “United in Purpose, Resolute in Action,” – discussed various issues affecting the party, including its current finances.
General Secretary for a second time, Shawn Nicholas, spoke on Observer AM saying people’s expectations were exceeded such that many stayed till the end of the convention – after 10 p.m.
From Nicholas’ assessment, there was overwhelming support and confidence placed in Harold Lovell
from the beginning of the convention. “There was a general feeling that Lovell would be retained … People were energized; people were rooting for him,” is how she put it.
Richard Lewis, Lovell’s opponent, kept a positive and supportive outlook even after his defeat, and despite the fact that all the persons on his slate were also unsuccessful.
Coming off Sunday’s Convention high, the UPP appears to consider itself ready to face whatever comes. In the words of Shawn Nicholas, “It’s a new UPP as of today.”