Progressive Youth, an arm of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is throwing its support behind those persons selected to represent the Party in the Upper House. It is also sending congratulations to the six just-elected members of the House of Representatives.
There has been some criticism following the selection of four senators by Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle. Critics have averred to the UPP’s promises to place more young people in Parliament, on boards, and in other agencies.
In some cases, the Party had said that young people would make up either 10 or 25 percent of these boards, provided that it won the elections and formed the government.
In a press statement, the youth wing of the UPP says its membership is pleased that half of the Party’s candidates elected in the January 18 General Election were young, vibrant, and dynamic individuals.
It notes that the Leader of the Opposition and representative for All Saints East and St Luke, Jamale Pringle; the representative for All Saints West, Anthony Smith, Jr.; and the representative for St. Mary’s South, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, are all considered as youth.
“It is exciting that young leaders are rising through the ranks of our Party, and we are especially proud of the Hon. Jamale Pringle, who would have been intimately involved in the Party’s youth arm before becoming a Member of Parliament, the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Political Leader and now the Political Leader of our great Party,” the Progressive Youth’s statement declares.
The organization says that Pringle’s story and progression are an example to the youth, as well as confirmation of the Party leaders’ mentorship and vision for the future.
Jonathan Wehner, chairperson of the Progressive Youth, says the organization looks forward to the youthful Parliamentarians’ robust advocacy on the issues facing young people.
Although it came remarkably close to winning control of the government, Wehner notes that the Party sits in opposition and, so, has limited senatorial appointments.
Accordingly, he states that the Progressive Youth body is in full support of the four senators the Party has appointed. He also acknowledges that they will not serve a full five-year term, since senatorial appointments will be made through a rotation system.
Meanwhile, Mobilization Officer Guishonne Powell says that members of the youth arm are behind the representatives, and they distance themselves from any suggestion or inclination to the contrary.
According to the Progressive Youth, “It is also important to note that from the 11 senators appointed by the current government, the majority are older individuals who cannot speak to the issues facing the youth today.”