Grenville Williams, who is vying to represent the ruling Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) in South Leeward in the next general elections, says the party’s poll to determine the candidate may also survey the names of other people, besides his and Sen. Jomo Thomas’.
But he is confident that he will emerge the winner of the poll and go on to become the candidate.
Williams, a lawyer, who is Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and Sen. Jomo Thomas, also a lawyer, are the known contenders in the constituency.
“I cannot speak definitively that there may be a third person in the race, but of course, one of the things you do is look at other possibilities,” Williams told I-Witness News this week.
“I have heard other names mentioned and I have heard rumours that there might have been other persons names polled as well.
“Very earlier on, I heard something of Doris Charles, and, of course, as you are aware, David Browne was always in the mix. But, the point I am making, at the end of the day, it is only one of those persons, the person with the majority of votes, who can be the candidate,” Williams said.
Doris Charles, a diplomat at the SVG High Commission in London, is wife of Central Leeward representative, Maxwell Charles, Minister of National Reconciliation.
David Browne, who lost to the New Democratic Party’s Nigel Stephenson in South Leeward in the 2010 general elections, was appointed to the senate, but was removed during a reshuffle involving two other senators last year.
Back then, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves who is political leader of the ULP, said Browne will be pursuing studies.
Thomas announced on his radio programme last week that the ULP will use a poll to determine the candidate, since a run-off might be fructuous.
Williams said he is not opposed to the polls.
“I support the poll being conducted, because it gives the people in the community the opportunity to make the decision,” Williams told I-Witness News.
“It is important in a democracy to give voice to the people you seek to represent,” he said, adding that a poll is one of the avenues that can be explored by a political party in making its decisions.
He said that poll is designed to determine whether, he or Thomas, in the eyes of the people, will be the better candidate going forward.
However, Williams was evasive when asked what the constitution of the ULP says about the candidate selection process.
“Well, I do not want to speak specifically to the constitution. I believe if the party elects to make use of a particular mechanism and it is not one which is objectionable, then I do not see any difficulties in utilizing the same,” he said.
But he said he is confident that the results of a poll will favour him, a sentiment that Thomas has also expressed.
“I am very confident that the results of a poll will reflect the views of the people, and the views of the people, from my assessment, indicate that Grenville Williams is the person they want representing them on the ULP ticket.”
He said that the polls will produce a single winner, based on simple majority.
“What I am saying, is that there can be no mechanism whatsoever where you combine the vote of any two persons to say that they will be the candidate. It must be a clear winner on a simple majority.”
Thomas has said that he will support whoever emerges as the ULP’s candidate.
Asked if he would do the same, Williams said, “In terms of whether or not I will support the person going forward, what I would support is good governance and I believe that the ULP offers that to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and, as such, I support their policies, I support them, and they will get my support.
“But, at the end of the day, I believe South Leeward deserves the person who will best represent their genuine interest, and that person, at this point in time is Grenville Williams, and like I said at the very beginning when you asked, I am confident that the voice of the people will truly be reflected in the poll and Grenville Williams will emerge the single winner among all the persons who may have been polled.”