By Carlena Knight
The United Progressive Party (UPP) has added more new faces to the list of candidates that will be contesting the next general elections on the party’s ticket.
The names were released on Monday morning, bringing the total number of political hopefuls the UPP has unveiled thus far to eight.
Sean Bird, grandson of the country’s first Prime Minister Sir Vere Cornwall Bird, was among those introduced to the public on Monday and, arguably, the most controversial.
Bird, general manager of ZDK Liberty Radio, will run for the St John’s Rural East constituency, a seat currently held by another Bird – his cousin, the ABLP’s Maria Bird-Browne.
The radio boss believes that although his cousin has been doing a commendable job, the constituency needs “experience”.
“She’s young and she has a lot to learn, you know, she has a bright future but right now what you need is experienced hands who are able to have a vision on the way forward,” he said.
“We have to understand that she is also the wife of the Prime Minister so therefore the PM would be very instrumental in directing traffic through her incumbency in St John’s Rural East.
“I believe what we have to do is that we have to build relationships and therefore we have to see which is the ticket that will give the best representation, not just in parliament but on the global stage.
“The idea of going along to get along is over,” Bird continued. “Therefore, maybe in the future she will be ready, and I wish her all the best but for right now it’s the experience that’s going to be needed.”
Last week, Bird won a primary against fellow party member, Vere Cornelius.
With Sean being the first Bird to run on a UPP ticket, he received much scrutiny, including from his own relatives. But Bird says this will not faze him from his task helping the people of St John’s Rural East.
The second newcomer to the field of politics is retired banker and businesswoman, Pearl Quinn Williams.
Williams will be going up against ABLP’s Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez in the St John’s Rural North constituency, a seat Fernandez has held on to for 10 years.
Williams, however, told radio listeners she is prepared for the road ahead.
“I just want to say that … I am very happy. I have an interest in having good representation which is overly lacking right now. I have lots of friends, families and past business clients and former colleagues living in that constituency and I believe I have what it takes to make a difference,” she said.
Returning to the UPP ticket is Johnathon Joseph who will once again face off with current Health Minister Molwyn Joseph in St Mary’s North, having lost to him by 662 votes in 2018.
Johnathon Joseph says he is grateful for the party’s support a second time around.
“This country needs leadership now more than ever and we need a change, just not any change, and that change that is needed is the United Progressive Party (UPP) with our political leader Harold Lovell,” Joseph said.
Corthwright Marshall, who the party says narrowly missed capturing the St Mary’s South seat in 2018 falling to ABLP’S Samantha Marshall by 31 votes, received the nod once again to vie for that seat.
Once elected, the UPP hopeful says he will bring much needed change to the constituency.
“With respect to St Mary’s South, let me say I am extremely humble to be once again considered for the area.
“It is always my belief and personal conviction that development is about people. It is not about how long the line is in the bank, it is not the ownership of motor cars or money. It is about people and therefore economic development must first and foremost satisfy the people’s basic needs for education, healthcare, nutrition, justice, democratic participation in the affairs of their community, culture, declaration and spiritual growth, not to forget about housing, safety and security.”
Last month the party introduced well-known community activist Alister Thomas as its candidate for St John’s City West.
Hotelier Alex Browne will run for St Philips North, Senate Minority Leader Richard Lewis will run for St John’s Rural West, and businessman Michael Burton for St John’s City South.