Prominent lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has received the nod from the main opposition New Democratic Party’s constituency division in West St. George to be their candidate in the next national elections in that district.
At a meeting at the party’s headquarters in Kingstown on Saturday, the council elected Bacchus-Baptiste, unopposed, to replace the current candidate, Sen. Julian “Jules” Ferdinand, who is bowing out of politics.
Ferdinand, who failed to win the seat for the NDP on his first and only outing at the polls in 2015, says he anticipates that a snap election would be called this year, and has chosen to allow the party to select a new candidate.
“My lecture schedule at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, UWI, Trinidad and Tobago, will be rather hectic from September. As a result of this, I will be off island for a significant period of the time leading up to this anticipated ‘snap election’. I, therefore, considered it to be in the best interest of the New Democratic Party if I stepped aside at this time,” Ferdinand told iWitness News.
Although Bacchus-Baptiste has passed the first stage of the candidate selection exercise, her candidacy has to be ratified by the central committee of the NDP, before she is formally declared a candidate.
The NDP believes that it will win the two petitions it has filed challenging the results of the December 2015 general election.
An application to inspect the election documents, including the ballot papers, will be heard this or next month, and the party anticipates that if that ruling goes against the Unity Labour Party administration, Prime Minster Ralph Gonsalves will call a snap general elections.
Bacchus-Baptiste is a lawyer for the NDP in the petitions matter.
She is also wife of Lauron “Sharer” Baptiste, who lost when he carried the NDP’s flag in North Windward in 2015.
The NDP is challenging the results in that constituency, as well as in Central Leeward.
General elections are constitutionally due in March 2021.