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Stuck at the Starting Line PM Won’t Support Me, Says Santi

Stuck at the Starting Line PM Won’t Support Me, Says Santi
May 24
12:05 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019
The United Democratic Party’s (UDP) seat for candidacy of the Caribbean Shores constituency is officially a two-person race, pitting Lee-Mark Chang against party favorite Leila Peyrefitte, as Santino Castillo, who had announced his intention to also contest the convention has withdrawn from the race citing a lack of support from the Prime Minister, and the leadership of the party.

The UDP seat is up in the air since former UDP candidate for the area, former Mayor Darrel Bradley has decided not to seek to contest the seat again. In the last week, Castillo announced his intention to once again contest the constituency which he had won in 2012 by some 700 votes. Castillo had said he planned on reaching out to Chang and Peyrefitte to see if they would be willing to concede the seat to him, however, on Wednesday Castillo announced that he had withdrawn. He said when he announced his candidacy he was sure he would have the party’s support but he was contacted by the Prime Minister who indicated his support for Peyrefitte due to “her work in Caribbean Shores.” “As I told the PM, I was his Minister of State during my time in government and there is no way I can run in a convention without his endorsement and unequivocal support,” Castillo said.

Chang also tendered his resignation this week from his seat as President of the Senate. Chang told the Reporter that he is very confident in his chances of winning the Caribbean Shores seat, not just in a party convention but also in a general election, else he would not have resigned from his post. He also said he has no intention of seeking to return to his previous post if he is not victorious in the convention. Darrel Bradley, meanwhile, has been named as the new President of the Senate following Chang’s resignation. He will be sworn in at the next sitting of the Senate.

Chairman of the UDP Alberto August told the Reporter that the party has no clear favorite and intends the convention to be held without bias or favor. He added that whichever UDP candidate wins the nomination for Caribbean Shores will be the next standard bearer for the constituency. Peyrefitte, with Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s expressed support is considered the a strong favorite in this convention, due to her close association with Barrow’s long-time and trusted CEO, Audrey Wallace.

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