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Democratic Republican Party ‘going OK,’ says Baptiste

Democratic Republican Party ‘going OK,’ says Baptiste


Leader of the Democratic Republican Party (DRP), Anesia Baptiste, said the party is “going OK” and she will soon embark on a membership drive throughout the country.{{more}}

“Currently, I have [membership] forms in different places. Persons are filling out bit by bit, but I will be going myself in different constituencies to do some work,” she told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday.

Baptiste, a former member of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) and opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), said she left St Vincent for about a month, after announcing the DRP in August.

“So, I have some work to do with respect to tallying and seeing what is going on currently. But I know while I was out, very little was done,” she said.

The DRP does not yet have an executive.

“Things like the executive and the different arms, like youth arm, woman’s arm and the different councils, will be developed out of the base that is formed as membership grows,” explained Baptiste, who said the party had “perhaps four” members when it was announced.

“It was really just the persons who were helping me unofficially with some of the groundwork I was doing, to get to that point of announcing,” said Baptiste, who declined to identify the members.

Baptiste said she is hoping to contest the next general elections — constitutionally due in 2015 — in West St George, where she had been fingered as the NDP’s candidate.

Baptiste, who was fired as an NDP senator in April, said she wanted to run “with some semblance of a team”, hence the DRP.

She said things have not changed “negatively” since her fallout with the NDP over a policy prohibiting its candidates or potential candidates from criticising religions.

She said “persons who are in the NDP” have said they support her and inquired about the DRP candidate for their constituency.

She also said persons who say they no longer support the ULP, but couldn’t vote for the NDP have also inquired.

“So I know, for example, there are those who think that it would put a dent in the NDP, but I would say complacency is not a good thing for anybody,” said Baptiste, who also told SEARCHLIGHT that Vincentians in the diaspora have recommitted to supporting her humanitarian efforts. (