Former Prime Minister and Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Stephenson King has requested a sit-down with incumbent leader of the UWP Allen Chastanet.
The meeting is aimed at discussing a number of issues facing the party, and to look at addressing the rift that currently exists between members of that party.
King’s request came about as a response of the many concerns raised by a number of aggrieved members of the UWP, who suggested that he lead the discussions on their behalf.
A correspondence was dispatched on Wednesday to the UWP political leader by King, requesting that the meeting takes place today, Thursday, October 5, 2015.
King told HTS News Force that it is his hope that the meeting will focus on coming up with a strategy that will help all parties, to arrive at some resolution to deal with the current turmoil within the UWP.
“We are very much concerned by what is taking place. It is heart-wrenching to see on a daily basis, members of party whether executive members, or delegates, or ordinary members expressing their concern and of course disenchantment with what is taking place currently in the organisation,” he added.
The former UWP leader said there were previous attempts made to hold peace talks with the executive, but this has proven unsuccessful. Nevertheless, King said he remains optimistic that Chastanet will see it fit to agree to have the meeting, so that the issues can be discussed and addressed once and for all.
“If you believe that the convention will deal with the removal of Allen Chastanet I don’t believe so. I believe there are other issues. We must be able to sit down to analyze and diagnose those issues. What are the problems in the organisation?” King remarked.
The Castries North Member of Parliament also said that despite there have been talks about different structures and systems being put in place, none of this seems to have worked, because two and a half years have passed and the UWP still have issues that have not yet been addressed.
He also stated that there are persons who believe that Chastanet cannot lead the party into an election, while others believe he cannot lead the UWP to victory at the polls. Then there are others who believe what is needed at this time, is for some sort of reconciliation in an effort to move the UWP forward.
“Stephenson King doesn’t have the answer alone. It has to a collected effort bringing all the forces together and then emerge with some kind of resolution that will bring about the chemistry to move the party in the direction that is needed before the convention and election,” he added.
Apart from King, other senior members who have publicly criticised the party, plans to attend the sit-down with Chastanet. These persons include: Dr. Claudius Preville, Dr. Keith Mondesir, Mary Polius, Lenard Montoute and Rufus Bousquet, among others.
When contacted today, Chastanet said he received the correspondence from King on Wednesday afternoon. However, he will most likely not be able to organize the meeting for today (Thursday) as requested, since he is scheduled to leave the island for overseas travel.
Asked further whether he will decide to have the meeting once he is back on island, Chastanet said he plans to have a meeting with the executive this morning to discuss the request and based on the outcome of that meeting, and all parties will be informed of the decision.
The party is scheduled to host its Annual General Convention on November 15.