By Carlena Knight
The United Progressive Party (UPP) is to launch its election campaign on Thursday with a drive-in rally at the Potters Playing field.
The party will also officially present its 16 candidates and campaign message at the event beginning at 7pm.
However, prior to the rally, the main opposition party will host a pre-campaign launch and media briefing today at the Workers Union’s conference room on lower Newgate Street.
Today’s event, which will also be broadcast via Zoom from 10am, will be attended by UPP Leader Harold Lovell and General Secretary Shawn Nicholas.
“We are having a campaign briefing. We are not changing the party logo but we are having a campaign brand launch. We will be launching both the website and the campaign brand as a build-up to the campaign launch on Thursday night.
“So, it is giving you an early look into what the campaign will look like before the launch on Thursday,” Nicholas told Observer yesterday.
She explained that the party will be open to any questions those in attendance may have.
Meanwhile, Nicholas also responded to critics who say Thursday’s rally is not necessary before elections have been officially called.
“We know that an election is imminent. We do not know the time nor the hour, but should an election be called any time between now and 2023, the UPP is ready.
“We’ve seen what happened in Barbados, and just to say that Barbados did not trigger our decision to start early but we have been planning since last year for an early 2022 campaign launch because we want to show that we are ready whenever and whatever time the election is called,” the UPP General Secretary said.
She reiterated that while the rally is open to the public, all Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to.
“They have to come in their cars. We are not allowing a busload of people to come in. People will remain in their bubble. Families, friends, they stay in their cars,” she explained.
“We are not allowing any vending at all on the field and the only time you will be allowed to come out of your vehicle is if you have to use the washroom which will be available and highly sanitised.
“Even the cars will be parked in such a way that they are socially distanced even though persons will be in their vehicles. So, we want to make sure that all the protocols are adhered to as much as possible and if it gets to a point where there are more cars than can be accommodated in the field, then we will just have to not allow any more cars because we want to be mindful of the protocols,” she explained.
The rally is expected to address issues that are foremost in the minds of voters, the UPP said in a press release.
They include a lack of jobs, the running water crisis, the high cost of Covid-19 testing, crumbling infrastructure, the late payment of pensions, and a burdened education system that must make up for time lost to the pandemic.
Party members will also propose urgent solutions for the improvement of the nation’s healthcare system and share plans to diversify the economy.
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Deputy Leader of the UPP, Jamale Pringle, was quoted as saying party members are ready to lead the country safely out of the pandemic and to revive the economy.
The rally will be broadcast live on Observer Radio, Progressive 107.3 FM, ZDK Radio, and live-streamed via the MYUPP Facebook page.