By Carlena Knight
The United Progressive Party (UPP) has revealed that a second primary is imminent, this time to decide the candidate for the St Phillip’s South constituency.
Three possible candidates – Senator Shawn Nicholas, Sherfield Bowen and Philip Harris – will vie for the candidacy and face off against the incumbent Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) representative Lennox Weston.
Missing from this race is UPP founding member Chester Hughes who contested the seat in the last election. Opposition leader Jamale Pringle, who was a guest on Observer AM yesterday, silenced claims by members of the public that Hughes had stepped down as he was not happy with the party’s management.
“Chester is okay. From discussions I had with him two days ago, Chester is comfortable that the party is of great importance, and being a founding member, he can understand and manoeuvre around whatever it is so the critics will always have something to say and you have to understand some of them are trying to derail the forward movement of the organisation but I am comfortable that we are not going to be derailed by anyone and my brother Chester Hughes is in good spirits and in a good place,” Pringle said.
He went on to commend the party for what he described as a unified mentality. He spoke on the latest primary held in St John’s Rural East where candidates Vere Cornelius and Sean Bird, he said, were more focused on the party than individual success.
“We had a primary in Rural East and it was flawless. One of the interesting things during that whole process was the change in behaviour because for that entire process both candidates were in conversation from start to finish because they are discussing strategies,” Pringle explained.
“These things are what needs to happen. We are moving in the right direction. I think the party is stronger and more united than ever, even with the pending primaries.
“We have to understand that all persons are not going to be comfortable but at the same time I think the management process in terms of transitioning into these new persons and making sure persons don’t feel cheated is the responsibility of mine.
“I think the process is working and we will continue to have dialogue with persons so that they realise that even though you are not the candidate your input is of outmost importance to us; this is not only about an individual it is about all of us.”
Thus far the UPP has rolled out eight candidates with radio boss Sean Bird being the first to be named after winning a primary.
The others include Alister Thomas for St John’s City West, Senator Richard Lewis for St John’s Rural West, Corthwright Marshall for St Mary’s South, Pearl Quinn-Williams for St John’s Rural North, Johnathon Joseph for St Mary’s North, Alex Browne for St Phillip’s North, and Michael Burton for St John’s City South.
The second primary is slated for the first week in August.