KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 29, IWN — The ruling Unity Labour (ULP) on Thursday marked its 12th year in office, with supporters talking on the party’s radio station of the policies and programmes that have redounded to their individual benefit and that of the nation.
But two days earlier, Sen. Julian Francis, the party’s general secretary, said on his weekly programme that many party supporters were “aggrieved” and noted that not many political parties are elected to a fourth consecutive term in office.
Francis had, in his programme, earlier this month noted that the number of popular votes the ULP received has decreased every election since 1998, when it first won the majority of popular votes.
Read: ULP Gen-Sec notes declining popular support for party
And while he said he was not copying U.S. President Barack Obama, Francis on Tuesday said “yes we can” as the ULP looks towards a fourth term in office.
General elections are constitutionally due in 2015.
In the 2010 poll, the ULP’s margin of victory was reduced from 12 seats to New Democratic Party’s (NDP) 3, to a single seat majority.
“There is a lot of desperation coming out from the NDP and we are not to take our work for granted,” Francis told listeners to his programme, as he warned against over confidence.
“It is always better to strategize and plan with the impression that you are coming from behind,” he further said, adding, “We have a lot of work to do.”
Francis said that with political leader of the ULP, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves heading the team, “the elected members doing what they should be doing, the strategy committee, the general secretary and his work crew to actually put the things in place and get them done, we are a formidable team”.
“There are not a lot of governments that gets four terms and … we have to continue the programme that we are doing, we have to continue the work that we are doing, we know what it is.
“These are not things we discuss on radio. And we all know, and in certain areas the work has started and it will continue.
“Let us be reflective on this weekend, those of us who are not pulling the weight as we should, those individuals who feel aggrieved, there are many of them –supporters of the Unity Labour Party. …
“We have individuals — and quite a few of them — who have matters that are yet to be settled and we have to try to settle and satisfy as many as we can. There will always be some.
“But the individuals who are aggrieved and who have things yet to be done for them, don’t take it out on the other 32,098 [persons who voted for the party].”
“We have a lot of work to do. We can do it — yes we can. We are not copying Obama but I know we can do it. We have the men and women in this party. We have the organisational skill, we have the intellectual knowhow, expertise can be bought where there are deficiencies.,” Francis said.
The ULP has said that it is not organising any major celebration because of the closeness of the anniversary to Easter.