The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has appointed a committee to organise its convention, party chairman, Linton Lewis told iWitness News on Monday.
“We’ve had a retreat dealing with the elections and there will be a convention,” Lewis, a lawyer, told iWitness News in a brief interview in Kingstown.
He, however, said that no date has been set as yet for the convention, which would be the party’s first in two years.
Lewis has been rather low-key since the December 2015 general elections in which he suffered a fourth consecutive defeat.
There have been speculations about Lewis’ status with the NDP, but he said he has not heard of these.
“The mere fact that I haven’t heard them means that they have no impact on me,” said Lewis, who was a senator of the NDP in the last Parliament.
“I am the chairman of the New Democratic Party until someone is elected to that position,” he said when asked what he would say to persons who have questions about his relationship with the party.
Asked where he sees the NDP going after four consecutive electoral defeats, Lewis told iWitness News:
“There was a retreat and the PRO, the persons who are responsible for promoting the party, and the leader, he in that position would be able to promote and advocate what exactly transpired in that retreat.”
He said former senator, Vynnette Frederick, who is also a lawyer, is still the NDP’s spokesperson, adding that he has not seen a resignation from her.
But radio announcer Colin Graham, who persons close to the leadership of the NDP have referred to as the party’s “media co-ordinator” has been acting as the party’s PRO, sending press releases and other party information to the media.
Frederick, like Lewis, has been quiet after the December 2015 elections, which the NDP says was stolen by the Unity Labour Party.
There are committees established to deal with certain aspects of the party, Lewis told iWitness News of the outcome of the retreat, which was held over the Carnival weekend in early July.
“And I suppose that when they have finished their work then we will determine exactly when the convention would be held,” he told iWitness News.
The NDP convention is especially anticipated this year as several positions are up for election, including that of party president.
Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace is now president of the party and sources close to the party say that after leading the NDP to four electoral defeats, he is ready to hand over the leadership, but the party wants to ensure that the transition is managed properly.
Eustace has been Member of Parliament for East Kingstown since 1998, a seat he retained in the December vote.
IWitness News understands that at least one member of the NDP is prepared to challenge Eustace for leadership if he should decide to contend for the presidency again at the next convention.