Members of the United Workers party (UWP) have re-elected former Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet as leader.
Chastanet’s re-election was by acclamation at the annual National Convention of the UWP on Sunday, (Nov.15) at the Gros-Islet Secondary School.
This is Chastanet’s third re-election. He has been political leader of the UWP since 2013.
The political leader secured 280 votes, while Sarah Flood Beaubrun secured a mere 55 votes. Dr. Gale Rigobert, the current opposition leader, was re-elected deputy political leader.
Chastanet had defeated former Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Party Leader of the UWP Stephenson King and has gained prominence ever since.
The one-time senator had also defeated well-known economist Dr. Claudius Preville to be re-elected leader of the UWP at the party’s 38th Convention held in November 2014.
An economist himself, Chastanet plans to contest the Micoud-South seat in the next general elections.
Arsene James, the current Parliamentary Representative had decided to step down, over issues with his health. But there have been speculations that James gave up his seat so that Chastanet could win it, to enter Parliament.
The Micoud South Constituency is a UWP stronghold and has been represented by the UWP for years.
Chastanet unsuccessfully ran for a parliament seat for Soufriere Constituency in the 2011 general election.
He claims that under his leadership, the UWP has been modernized and that the party is much stronger than it has ever been before, with more transparency and accountability.
But since King’s defeat, there has been a rift among certain members of the party. King and his supporters have openly criticized Chastanet and his ability to lead the UWP into an election victory.
Chastanet has dealt with this matter diplomatically and was even credited for the expulsion of current Castries Central Member of Parliament and former Housing Minister Richard Fredrick.
Chastanet is a former vice president of marketing and sales for Air Jamaica and the managing director of the Coco Palm Hotel.