Castries North MP and former leader of the opposition United Workers Party, (UWP), Stephenson King, has announced that he will not be contesting the leadership of the party at its upcoming convention next month.
In announcing the decision today at a news conference, King recalled having stated before that the UWP is divided.
“What I have seen in more recent times is not only a division within the UWP, but a growing hostility among the membership of the party,” the former Saint Lucia Prime Minister said.
It was his view that were he to contest the UWP leadership, he anticipates that there will be even further division and confusion.
King disclosed that in addition to those reasons, he has lost “every bit of confidence” in a process which he believes is flawed and manipulated to the extent that the current leadership of the UWP believes that there will be no possible change, no matter what.
He recalled that the party’s Deputy Political Leader, Lenard “Spider” Montoute had recently called for a suspension of the UWP convention to focus the party’s energies on creating unity.
“Here is the Deputy Political leader of the party who has now concluded that what exists within the organization needs to be arrested not by the established means, but by a coming together of the leadership and membership, and to cause a determination that will bring about a mechanism and a process that will suit the furtherance of the ideals of the United Workers Party,” King told the News Conference.
Asked about the announcement this week by former Labour Party government Minister, Sarah Flood Beaubrun, that she would challenge Allen Chastanet for the leadership of the UWP, King said although their views may differ, Flood-Beaubrun has a conviction because believes she has something to offer.
Asked whether his constituency’s backing of her nomination meant that he personally supported her challenge, King’s response was that he supported the challenge and the “boldness” of Sarah Flood-Beaubrun to challenge the leadership of the UWP, although he acknowledged that it would not be easy.
“I think Sarah has a passion and determination to serve the people through the UWP,” King declared.