The star as political party symbol will not be on ballot papers for the 19 February polls as the Grenada United Labour Party will not be contesting any constituency in the 2013 general elections.
This is the first time the executive of the party has made a decision to not contest a general election since political organization was formed back in 1951 with decease former Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy as its leader and agricultural workers as it mass base.
“We decided at a meeting on Saturday that we will not contest because we have some things to get done, we are just not ready to contest the elections,” said President Wilfred Haynes.
The party is yet to elect a leader since the resignation of Collin Francis back in 2009 and according to Haynes that was one of the challenges facing the party. “We did not have a convention to elect a leader since the resignation, although Wayne Francis was caring the title of acting leader,” he said.
A few weeks ago, the party gave the assurance that it will contest the election with former Leader of the Opposition Michael Baptiste as the leader for the Election team and the party will have its convention following the elections.
“However, at the meeting we had to accept many realities including the fact that Mr Baptiste began appearing on the NDC platform,” said one executive member who attended the meeting but wished not be named. “After much debate we had to agree as an executive that we will this election pass and reorganize ourselves for the 2018 elections,” he said.
The last time the GULP seriously contested the elections was in 1995 general elections and two of its candidates were elected to the Parliament. These two candidates, namly Michael Baptiste and Clarence eventually join the New National Party of Dr Keith Mitchell. Since the death of leader Sir Eric Gairy in 1997 the party has gone through some turmoil which have left it battered, very few members and some fateful who from time to time will make efforts to revitalize the once powerful political movement which ruled for 27 years.
By Linda Straker