UPP Political Leader defends party members

United Progressive Party leader, Harold Lovell (source: youtube)

The candidacy of UPP caretaker for St John’s Rural North, Joan Underwood may be at risk due to her employment commitments, according to political leader, Harold Lovell.

The caretaker had recently received an assignment under the auspices of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) which will involve her being off-island for a period of six months.

“We’ve had to look at that to see if it will jeopardize her ability to run as a candidate, but whatever the case, we haven’t yet decided exactly what is going to happen” said Lovell on Voice of the People yesterday.

Lovell spoke positively of the selection of Underwood for the post, but he said that it has created a serious problem for her constituency and by extension the UPP.

“It has obviously created a problem for us,” said Lovell. “We are very proud for her, because IADB represents countries from Canada in the North to Chile and they handpicked her to do a serious assignment in six Caribbean countries.”

As it is still not certain if Underwood will be replaced, the political leader was confident in attempting to assure the public that the final list of the party’s candidates will be a competent one.

He said, “When we roll out our final slate, it will be the slate that we believe the people of Antigua can have confidence in and we will hold the reigns of the next election.

“I can assure you, that whether its Joan or someone else, we will have a good candidate for St. John’s Rural North,” Lovell said.

During the programme, callers raised questions about plans within the party to replace UPP Public Relations Officer, Damani Tabor with Underwood. Lovell refuted such claims and said, “Damani remains a highly valued member of our team [with whom] I and the party are well pleased.”

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