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NDP delighted with interest in contesting election on their behalf

NDP delighted with interest in contesting election on their behalf
Left to Right: Phillip Jackson, Adriana King & Renson Haynes


The New Democratic Party (NDP) is happy that so many people are expressing interest in contesting the next general elections on their behalf.

“That is a wonderful thing. I am always encouraged when people put themselves forward to represent. This shows a level of commitment and shows that there are a lot of people, especially young people, who are willing to come forward,” president of the NDP Dr Godwin Friday told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

The Leader of the Opposition said the interest currently being shown by potential candidates is a positive thing and people wanting to be part of the NDP’s vision shows that the party is doing something right.

He noted that the party’s constitution and candidate selection process will be adhered to, so that the best candidates can be selected to represent at the elections, constitutionally due by March next year.

The NDP will select candidates for the East St George, North Windward and Marriaqua constituencies.

In the 2015 general elections, the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) Camillo Gonsalves received 3135 votes in East St George, defeating the NDP’s Linton Lewis who secured 2528 votes.

Lewis has bowed out of active politics and several names have been making the rounds as showing interest in taking his place, among them Renson Haynes, Travis Harry and Adriana King. Laverne Velox, a former banker, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

Haynes is a former national footballer and a construction manager. He is intimately involved in sports and was born and raised in Calliaqua. Harry is a sailor with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and King an English teacher at the St Vincent Grammar School (SVGS).

When SEARCHLIGHT reached out to Haynes on Thursday, he had no comment, while Harry said he will not vie for candidacy. Harry said he held discussions with the NDP president, but he is not interested as he has other commitments.

Writing on Facebook, King said, “Yes, I have expressed my interest in running for the NDP. No, the party has not had any meeting to select candidates and the party has not selected a candidate for East St George. If you see anyone saying otherwise, they are lying and you need to steer clear of such persons.”

In the 2015 general election in the North Windward constituency, the NDP’s Lauron Baptiste secured 2390 votes, trailing the ULP’s Montgomery Daniel who received 2713 votes.

Baptiste will not contest the next general elections. One of the names being mentioned for the NDP in this constituency is former parliamentarian Monty Roberts who represented the constituency from 1989 to 2001 under the Sir James Mitchell administration. Reports are that a female educator is also interested.

In Marriaqua in 2015, the ULP’s St Clair Jimmy Prince defeated the NDP’s Curtis Bowman 2643 votes to 1887.

Public servant Phillip Jackson has shown interest in contesting for the NDP, while Bowman says he is still in the game and will try for the third time to win the favour of the people. On July 7 on Facebook, 44-year-old Jackson said his campaign platform is about wealth creation and total well-being.

Others names mentioned in the Marriaqua constituency are accountant Kirk DaSilva, former parliamentarian Bernard Wyllie who represented the constituency from 1989 to 1998 under the Sir James Mitchell administration and radio announcer Laverne “Gypsy” Phillips. DaSilva on Thursday confirmed his interest in contesting the seat.

Yesterday, Friday said the party’s mechanism will soon come into play to select the best candidates.

“We have to go through the process…formal ratification…and we have pretty good, excellent candidates,” the party president said.

He noted that elections are in the control and determination of the people and he is confident that the NDP will win the next general elections.

“They (the people) want change and want to move forward. The ULP had their day,” Friday stressed while adding that people need jobs and the NDP will create jobs with haste.

“That is what we are offering, and this is why we are getting the response of the people,” the opposition leader said while noting that the NDP will take the country to prosperity.