Linton to Lead UWP
Edison James to give up Marigot seat
As the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) prepares for the imminent general election, the party has identified talk show host, Lennox Linton, as its next political leader, the Sun can report.
That decision was taken at a recently held top-level meeting of the UWP, an informed source close to the party leadership told the Sun.
The source, who spoke to the Sun on the usual conditions of anonymity, also revealed that Edison James, the current UWP political leader, Parliamentary Representative for Marigot and former Prime Minister would not contest the next election. Linton is expected to do battle for the UWP in the relatively-safe Marigot seat whenever the next general election is held, the source said. Earlier, Linton, who was born in Marigot, indicated that he would soon officially enter the political arena but he did not identify the constituency he would be contesting. The UWP is currently the only opposition party represented in the Dominica House of Assembly; the party holds three of the 21 seats. Hector John, the Parliamentary Representative for Salisbury, is the Leader of the Opposition.
The UWP formed the government of Dominica from 1995 to 2000 and was led by James as Prime Minister. James, Julius Timothy, Norris Prevost, the late Dennis Labassiere and others formed the party in 1988. In the 1990 elections, the UWP won 6 of the 21 seats and became the official opposition; in 1995, the party won 11 seats forming the first UWP government. At the January 2000 elections the party won 9 out of 21 seats and although it captured the popular vote, it got fewer seats than the Dominica Labour Party and therefore it was once again in opposition. After the 2005 elections, the party held 8 seats in Parliament and remained in opposition.
When asked by Q95 radio on 6 June, James said the party was pleased with its progress well ahead of the next general election and that the party had started identifying and putting candidates in place. The choice of Linton as party political leader seems obvious to UWP supporters; over the past few years he has been the most undaunted critic of the ruling party's governance record.
Apart from Linton, the UWP identified a number of other candidates for the next election campaign. As the Sun reported in June, and confirmed by the source, Norris Prevost, the Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau North constituency would not contest the next general election. Additionally, Isaac Baptiste has been identified as a possible candidate for Castle Bruce and Ezekel Bazil, the current president, will retain his position, the source said.