Based on a social media post, which has since gone viral, it is quite obvious that the battle lines have been drawn and the fight is on to determine just who will get the opportunity to take over the leadership of the country’s main opposition party – the United Progressive Party (UPP).
The main contenders are political leader Harold Lovell and UPP caretaker for the St John’s Rural West Constituency, Senator Richard Lewis. On Tuesday a poster appeared on social media with the names of some of the party’s top brass who have reportedly thrown their full support behind Lewis’s bid for leadership.
The first name listed on the poster captioned “New Leader, New Direction. Ready to Listen” is the party’s current public relations officer Damani Tabor. He is identified as the Chairman and is to be assisted by Arif Jonas.
Michele Lynch is named the general secretary and Philip Harris as the assistant general secretary. The post also included familiar faces who contested the 2018 general elections on the UPP’s ticket.
They are Kyron Simon, who contested the St John’s Rural South Constituency; Trevor Young, who ran in St John’s Rural East; and Gregory Athill, who was the UPP’s candidate for St Paul. The other names are Rachel Collis as treasurer, Dwight Shaw, Vaugh Conner, Tahambay Smith, Ruetoya Browne and Bryan De Silvia.
When contacted yesterday, Lewis neither confirmed nor denied the information as presented, but said he would be available to be interviewed later this week.
Meanwhile, Lovell, his main rival for the UPP leadership, has refused to comment on this most recent development.
This is the second time in recent years that there has been controversy surrounding a UPP leadership race. In 2015 there was a major split which stemmed from a fallout between Harold Lovell and Joanne Massiah.
Massiah challenged Lovell for the top position after former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced that he would not be leading the party into another election. This led to a major fallout, and in 2017 Massiah eventually moved on to form her own party, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), which fielded 13 candidates in the 2018 general election.
The UPP will hold its delegates conference on February 24. The conference will be preceded by an opening ceremony on the 23rd.