UPP by-election candidate shares pending welfare and sporting initiatives

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UPP by-election candidate, Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon (file photo)
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By Charminae George

Amidst efforts by UPP candidate Kelvin ‘Shugy’ Simon to garner support for the imminent by-election in St Mary’s South, the political hopeful has outlined a few of the initiatives planned for the constituency.

Simon indicated on Observer AM recently that social programs for the vulnerable and the elderly are a high priority. One particular program is a voucher initiative that will allow those in need to access groceries.

“There’s a voucher system that I’m working on where every month they will be able to get $100 towards groceries at key supermarkets within St Mary’s South,” he said.

Sports too, is a key area of development on the political hopeful’s list as he spoke of plans in the pipeline to upgrade two sporting facilities in the constituency after the by-election.

“Another thing I have planned is to put a stand with bathrooms and changing room facilities on the Bolans Playing Field… [and] Urlings also has been without a basketball court for some years. I already have the sketch, and drawings, and so on, for that,” he stated.

Additionally, Simon shared his intention to introduce a netball initiative for potential athletes within St Mary’s South.

“I would have embarked upon launching a basketball program that is pretty much ongoing. Netball is next…I’m in the process of putting all the logistics together to launch that program. I have gotten some donations of some balls and bibs and so on…,” Simon shared.

After winning the seat in the January 18 election by 199 votes, Simon announced his resignation as MP for St Mary’s South on June 7. His decision triggered the law’s requirement of a by-election within 120 days.

According to Simon, he vacated the seat to prevent the constituents from being negatively impacted by the lengthy legal battle he anticipated would’ve ensued.

The legal battle referenced is the election petition that was filed on behalf of the ruling Labour Party (ABLP) questioning Simon’s eligibility for office as he was still a civil servant upon nomination. He later resigned from his Ministry of Education job two weeks before the election.

In July, Senator Dwayne George was announced as the ABLP’s candidate of choice to contest the upcoming by-elections.

Senator George—who was sworn in as a senator on August 3—replaced Senator Samantha Marshall who previously contested the seat against Simon.

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