Massiah’s race for leadership ends

Citing a number of reasons for her decision, Member of Parliament for the All Saints East & St Luke Constituency, Joanne Massiah and her entire slate of candidates informed the party’s General Council, they would not be participating in the voting process to vie for a new executive during the UPP’s 10th Biennial Convention May 16-17.

At a press conference called, on Wednesday, the former leadership-hopeful enumerated “glaring bias”, conflict of interest among key individuals involved in preparation of the upcoming Convention, and tampering of the delegates’ list among her reasons for deciding not to “legitimise the process.”

“We have always maintained and publicly stated that once the playing field was level, and provided that the managers of the Convention process were committed to good governance principles in the conduct of the elections process, that we would emerge victorious,” the MP said.

She further stated, “Regrettably, as the weeks narrowed to the Convention, it became more apparent that as a consequence of the leadership race within the UPP, the party’s philosophy as it relates to our touted commitment to upholding democratic practices, transparency, integrity and accountability has been hijacked,” Massiah charged.

The former contender said her 14-member team witnessed an unlevelled playing

field being actively ploughed, designed to give main contender Harold Lovell and his team an unfair advantage.

She further claimed that the “unfair and undemocratic practices” were seemingly occurring in many constituency branches and have resulted in some branch chairpersons “callously flouting the party’s constitution” and stepping on on the rights of branch members.

“We have witnessed unprofessional, undemocratic, openly disrespectful, rude and hostile behaviour to persons who comprise Team Massiah. Equally egregious and of crucial concern to us was the fact that persons who formed part of Brother Lovell’s team, and who are running for executive office at the Convention are managing the preparatory process and have access to critical information which Team Massiah is being denied,” Massiah declared.

Massiah was referencing the list of delegates vying for executive office, which she said her team had tried unsuccessfully, for weeks, to obtain.

The team members also allege they have evidence person(s) have tampered with the said list.

The members of Team Massiah are also concerned about the method of voting which will be used at the Convention, the management of the preparatory process, the instituting of a code of conduct and the appointment of an investigation’s committee.

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