KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Chair of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Dr. Linton Lewis has been nominated for appointment in the Senate.
Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace made the announcement on radio Tuesday.
Eustace used the same medium to make the announcement as when he told the nation last month that he had fired then senator, Anesia Baptiste.
Lewis’ appointment will be formalised when Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne issues the requisite proclamations, in keeping with the Constitution.
It is expected that Lewis will take up the vacant Senate seat by the time Parliament meets on Thursday.
Lewis, a lawyer and accountant, has failed to win in the St. George constituencies three times, including against Health Minister Clayton Burgin in East St. George in 2005, and 2010.
Eustace’s announcement ends weeks of speculations about who would have replaced Baptiste.
Baptiste’s senatorial appointment was revoked after she said in an 11-page letter to Eustace last month that she would not obey an NDP policy prohibiting its candidates and potential candidates for national elections from making adverse comments about religion.
Baptiste was slated to represent the NDP in West St. George in the next general election, constitutionally due in 2015.
Lewis had in 2011 complained about Eustace not having consulted him before appointing Baptiste and Vynnette Frederick as the opposition senators after the 2010 vote, in which the NDP increase its parliamentary take from three to seven seats.
But he suggested in his weekly radio appearance on April 26 that he would accept the Senate seat if it was offered to him.
He stopped mid-sentence while responding to a caller’s comments that if appointed senator he would be second choice to Baptiste.
But he said that as a cricketer, he knows that sometimes the best of balls outs a batsman while the worst “can be dispatched to the boundary”.
Lewis successfully fended off an attempt by West Kingstown representative, Daniel Cummings, and Baptiste to wrestle the chair of the party from him during internal elections at the NDP’s convention last November.