Letters & Opinion, Politics

Frederick Was Never On Preville’s Agenda

IT is odious and nonsensical to keep listening to those conspiracy theories which are being bandied around, insinuating that the chief motive of Claudius Preville’s recent sortie in the contest for party leadership of the UWP was to mastermind and engineer Richard Frederick’s return to the fold of the party.

As one who is close to the camp of Claudius Preville, I believe it is fitting that I categorically deny any claims that Richard Frederick had any involvement in the recent campaign mounted by Preville to challenge Allen Chastanet, for the leadership of the party. I can further refute allegations of an alliance between the two men, whether overtly or covertly.

It is obvious that those who promoted these reckless misconceptions sought only to engage in deliberate mischief, or are agents of spreading confusion, fear and intimidation.

It would not be far–fetched to describe tensions between Chastanet and Frederick as very uncharitable. In short they are sworn enemies, as far as the public can see. Given their opposing sentiments, and that Frederick is an antagonized former member of the party; it is reasonable to deduce Frederick may speak favorably of any individual whom he deems to be Chastanet’s opponent.

The scads of misinformation which were circulated for weeks ahead of the 38th convention on November 2, suggested that Preville was involved in the Mark Louis piloted injunction, with the motive of returning Frederick to the party. This allegation is without merit and is completely absurd.

Some sections of the media were clearly duped if they bought into those rumours and if they looked back; they would be able to quickly come to this realization. The injunction actually maligned Preville, if anything. Sadly, people driven by dishonourable motives say a lot of things out of convenience and expediency.

In fact as Dr.Preville continues steadfastly on his mission to serve his country, the said allegations will only continue to disintegrate into a state of tatters as the truth always boldly speaks for itself.

Contrary to the misrepresentations, Mr.Preville is not a fly by night member of the United Workers Party; this is just another aspect of the spin that was deliberately circulated. Many stalwarts on either side would remember him as the campaign manager for Allan Bousquet Junior back in 1998; and even then he was already three years on record as a registered member of the UWP. This is 2014; how can Preville, who has been dedicatedly toiling behind the scenes as a key party strategist, be suddenly a novice? Is it simply a penalty imposed because he was humble enough not to go shouting on the mountain top with his every contribution?

Dr.Preville is blessed with immense political savvy, certainly enough not to engage in unnecessary, suicidal controversies in six short weeks of trying to make a difference for the United Workers Party and by extension the people of Saint Lucia. More importantly for Mr.Preville’s camp is genuinely concerned that elective politics is lifted above underhanded tactics, defamatory statements, and the use of fear-based intimidatory propaganda. Part of his mission is to be a strident voice for clean politics in this country.

On the very day of the convention, persons came to us indicating that they had observed different types of impropriety that were blatant and excessive. They felt such behaviour constituted an encumbered process and unfree space.

There are certain best practices that the party needs to abide by in the interest of a fair and democratic process and we will continue to stress on such a course of action in the future.

Observers of the process complained about suggestive paraphernalia that was openly displayed, persons holding up banners on the voting lines and even near the booths persons were said to be holding up placards, attempting to instruct persons on how to vote.

Concerns about anomalies in our internal processes are instructive. It says to us that our emphasis should be on moving forward in the right way, not by any means necessary. Respect for our principles and clauses will directly strengthen that sense of unification amongst our base.

In a national context, we need to distance ourselves from doing things that generate doubt in the process, in order to encourage full citizen participation at the polls. Concerns have plagued national and internal party elections over the years, including instances of alleged bribery and other forms of manipulation within the political process. The time is ripe to address these issues and clean them up.

– Political Pen

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