By Aabigayle McIntosh
The ever-vociferous and outspoken former St Mary’s South Member of Parliament Hilson Baptiste was among the list of strident United Progressive Party members who stood tall, with former incumbent Kelvin “Shugy” Simon during a rallyheld in Bolans Thursday night.
The event marked a double celebration for the party; the dismissal of a High Court case challenging Simon’s nomination, and his endorsement as a candidate in the upcoming by-election.
Baptiste said he braved ill health to ensure he was able to make it to the meeting.
“When he went to Parliament, I told him to stay focused and when I heard that man in Parliament, I was so proud,”
He went on to state that Simon is a very humble person who grew up in the very same area he is now seeking to represent.
“I want you all to make me proud by going out there and not only vote but fight for him [Kelvin Simon]. We want to have two days motorcade from Bolans to Cades Bay and then back to Bolans,” Baptiste stated.
St George MP Algernon Serpent Watts also told those who gathered at the Bolans Playing Field that he needs his “Little Brother sitting next to him in Parliament to make others uncomfortable”.
St John’s Rural West MP Richard Lewis also encouraged constituents to, “Remember that Prime Minister Gaston Browne plans to raise taxes to put the burden on you, so you have a duty to vote Kelvin Simon”.
Similar sentiments were shared by All Saints West MP Alex Smith, St Philip South MP, Sherfield Bowen, party representatives Pearl Quinn Williams, Sean Bird, Franz DeFrietas, and others two took their turn at the microphone.
Political Leader of the UPP Jamale Pringle said the party is prepared do all it can to ensure that itretains the seat.
“I can promise you that I will not retreat nor would I surrender to the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party and Gaston Browne and am calling on you the people of St Mary’s South to join me and my brother Kelvin Shugy Simon in battle as we reject Samantha Marshall and the Labour Party,” Pringle vowed.
“This is not a joke for me, this serious business for me. When it comes to the people of All Sain’s East and St Luke and people of the south who are been neglected is serious business for days.
Simon will face the ABLP’s Samantha Marshall and the Democratic National Alliance’s Andrew Antonio in the pending by-election.
The election was triggered by Simon’s resignation from the seat in early June.
Meanwhile Pringle the party’s machinery is oiled and ready to go.