Colin “Hitman” Graham, the radio announcer who admitted last week that he has abused his girlfriend, has withdrawn himself from further consideration as an election candidate for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
The NDP made the announcement in a press statement Wednesday afternoon.
“The New Democratic Party has accepted the offer by Mr. Colin Graham to withdraw from consideration as a candidate for the party. The decision comes after discussions between Mr. Graham and the leader and other members of the executive of the party,” the statement said.
“Mr. Graham has stated that, in light of recent public comments about matters relating to his personal life, he does not wish to hinder the activities and work of the party or to be a distraction to its agenda for change.”
The announcement comes just over a week after the party announced that Graham had passed the first stage to become its candidate for East St. George in the next election.
His candidacy would have pit him against Minister of Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves, son of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, and heir-apparent to the leadership of the ruling Unity Labour Party.
To become the candidate, Graham would have had to be approved by the NDP’s central committee.
The party, however, said in its statement that while Graham was selected by its “organ in the constituency of East St. George” to be the candidate for that constituency, his selection has not yet been considered by the Central Committee of the Party for ratification
“We have heard Mr. Graham’s public statements of remorse and responsibility and his declaration and willingness to seek the necessary help personally. We fully support his wish to address his own personal challenges and urge the support and encouragement of the wider society to help him to succeed.
“The NDP takes the opportunity to thank Mr. Graham for his forthrightness in the matter and wishes him the best in whatever rehabilitative measures he may seek. He can be assured of our continued encouragement,” the party said.
Graham’s political run, announced on Aug. 20, was a series of false starts after his girlfriend, Iyah Jacobs, on Aug. 21, made a post on Facebook, which she quickly deleted, saying that he had abused her.
Last Thursday, Aug. 24, Graham, in an interview with Hot97 FM, with which he works, admitted that what his Jacobs said was true and public apologised to her.
On Monday, Graham announced on Facebook that the station has suspended him without pay, and his boss, Luke Boyea, said the following day that he had sent Graham on 30 days leave, but had not fired him.
Jacobs, in an interview on the same station on Tuesday, Aug. 29, said that she and Graham both need help.
General elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are not constitutionally due until March 2021, but the NDP has said it believes that Prime Minister Gonsalves will call snap elections this year.
The NDP is hedging its bets on continued success in the two petitions that it has filed challenging the results, in two constituencies, of the December 2015 general elections.
The NDP has already secured two major victories in the legal battle so far, and the court will in September hear its case for examination of the election documents, including ballot papers.
If the court ultimately rules against the ULP, Vincentians could see the collapse of the administration, which holds a one-seat majority in the national assembly.