UPP caretakers want reassurances from the party

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A “caretakers’ meeting” called by the leaders of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) ended Tuesday night with disappointment for several of those caretakers who went into the meeting hoping that their concerns would have been addressed.
Sources told OBSERVER media that some caretakers raised a number of issues in recent months but up to Tuesday night, they were not provided any assurances or answers, including to the question about whether they would be confirmed as candidates on the party’s ticket.
“We have been doing all the work since September 2015 and our concern is that we are on the ground investing our time, our energy and our money and while nobody is going to reimburse the money, someone else is going to be invited to be the candidate,” a source complained.
It’s unclear why this is now as issue since, when they were appointed in 2015, the party had informed the political hopefuls and the media that this appointment was not a guarantee of candidacy.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, that source said it is “incomprehensible” how the party’s leadership doesn’t see anything wrong with the state of affairs with general elections constitutionally due in 2019.
Another source, who was in agreement, said it was not only unfair, but unreasonable and unjustifiable to have a caretaker doing all the ground work and then have the party take it all away by replacing that person when the time comes to choose a candidate.
“So, what does he get for everything he has invested for over a year? How somebody else could just walk in and just because the person has a degree or something, that person is going to be picked. My position is that if anybody is good enough to be the caretaker and represent the party in that way, then we should be good enough to be confirmed as the candidate,” the source said.
That source said Tuesday night’s meeting of the leadership and caretakers got heated at one point, to the extent that one caretaker is ready to resign after walking out.
The source, meanwhile, said one of the main challenges for caretakers is to get funding for work in the constituencies where they were asked to serve. This is because no one wants to invest in the caretakers, since there’s no guarantee they would be confirmed as candidates.
In response, UPP Political Leader Harold Lovell said the party has a Constitution and any member who has an issue should feel free to speak with him since he has an open door policy.

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