Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is calling on party support for new leaders in his ruling United Labour Party (ULP). At the party 22nd annual convention, Gonsalves spoke about the need for succession planning in the party, which he has led to four consecutive electoral victories.
Gonsalves gave supporters assurance that he is in good health, two months before he celebrates his 70th birthday. “But the party has to refresh itself and renew itself with personnel, and ideas and policies at every level,” said Gonsalves.
Gonsalves noted that Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker, is a few years older than him and that he does not know if Member of Parliament (MP) for North Windward, Montgomery Daniel, who has been in office since 2001, wants to run again in 2020. As possible future leaders of the party, He highlighted five other elected Labour legislators, Cecil Mckie, Augustus Stephenson, Jimmy Prince, Saboto Caesar and his son Camillo Gonsalves.
“Just think of it. One of them youngsters who you’ll select to succeed me, imagine them leading the party in 2020 in the election,” said Gonsalves. “And I am still around, God willing, to help, and you have one of those old, I ain’t going say the word, whether it’s Leacock or Friday, coming up against our bright, energetic youngsters?” he said in reference to the vice-presidents of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
“They will be completely swamped,” Gonsalves said.