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Teacher throws hat in ULP ring for West Kingstown

Teacher throws hat in  ULP ring for West Kingstown


Deborah Charles, one of the women interested in contesting the next general elections in West Kingstown on a Unity Labour Party (ULP) ticket, believes that she has what it takes to take back the constituency from the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Charles told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview this week that {{more}}she has been approached by persons in the constituency, who believe that she can win over the electorate from NDP incumbent Daniel Cummings, who defeated candidate for the ULP Michelle Fife by just over 500 votes in 2010.

Charles said that the wheels are already turning, and plans are being put in place to bring the voters back.

“What we discovered is that a lot of our labour base did not go to the polls for one reason or another. What we have to try to do now is to try to motivate our labour base to go back to the polls, show them where we erred, and try to bring them to that level where they would see the importance of going out on election day,” Charles stated.

“The other thing we need to do is to try to turn those persons who are not really grounded, and the young voters, those who have just left Community College and secondary schools; if we can tap into them then we can surpass Daniel Cummings,” Charles added.

The experienced teacher is also adamant that there will be no “pulling and tugging” among prospective ULP candidates for the constituency.

Charles said she intends to be ladylike in relation to Fife, whom she understands still has an interest in representing the people when the next elections come around between 2015 and April 2016.

“I believe at the end of the day, whichever person comes out as the candidate, we would respect that decision. I would respect Michelle if she is the candidate and I would expect her to do likewise if I emerge as candidate.

“Like me, Michelle has a right to go to the people and express her interest in running again, and she would have people who would support her.”

Charles indicated that she has been an integral part of the constituency, serving as a schoolteacher at three institutions in the area, (Kingstown Anglican School, Lowmans Leeward Anglican and Kingstown Government) over a 30-year period.

She told SEARCHLIGHT being a teacher has taught her what it is to be a public servant, and she believes that politics, which she has had an interest in for years, is just another level of public service.

“One of the things I have been doing as a classroom teacher is looking out for the interest of the children. I believe that every child is my child and if something goes wrong with the child then I need to find out why, because the child who has a problem cannot function effectively in the classroom.

“A teacher who can find time to do that is a teacher who can find time to represent at the higher level…. I’ve given 30 years at teaching, so I can enter into something else where I can give more of my time to public service.”

Although Charles is the sister-in-law of Central Leeward Member of Parliament Maxwell Charles, she says intends to make her own way through the political maze, using her own knowledge and understanding, and by integrating the masses in an effort to make young and old a part of the process.

“Maxie is my good friend and brother, but I’m not sure how that is going to impact. I think I will have to carve my own path politically….

“I believe that politics needs people with integrity. Politics also needs people who are about representing the masses and if you cannot do that, it doesn’t make sense.

“I bring with me my experience as a teacher and something that I have learned along the way is that you have to be loyal, and loyalty in this case is loyalty to the party and the policies of the party.

“You have to be committed to seeing that the policies move forward, but besides that, I would like to bring a different representation where persons would be able to meet me the ‘same old Debbie’ and chat with me and tell me your problems.

“Although I may be called the candidate or later the representative, it doesn’t take from me the personal touch,” Charles noted.(JJ)