Supporters of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) in North Central Windward, on Saturday, selected a 40-year-old man to run against Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, 73, in the next general election, expected by the end of 2020.
The NDP said, on Monday, that the nomination of Chieftain Neptune will now be taken before the party’s central committee for final ratification, at which time Neptune would officially become the candidate.
The party said that the Byera resident was nominated unanimously.
Neptune recently graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science in criminology and criminal justice with minors in political science and international relations.
The NDP said that Neptune has received the full support of the party’s last candidate in North Central Windward, former educator Kenroy Johnson.
Johnson was the NDP’s candidate/caretaker in for North Central Windward for the last 10 years.
After contesting the 2015 general elections, Johnson, who resigned as head teacher shortly before the polls, was not reinstated.
Former teachers Addison “Bash” Thomas and Elvis Daniel, who also resigned to contest the 2015 poll were also not reinstated.
The men decided to resign after the government said the election leave provision of the collective bargaining agreement that Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party government signed with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Unions in 2005, was “aspirational”.
In January 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled that the provision is not unconstitutional, as the prime minister had claimed after signing the pact, as a witness.
The court further ruled that the teachers must be paid their pensions.
The NDP said in a press statement that Johnson chaired Saturday’s meeting at which Neptune emerged as the candidate.
The party quoted Johnson as saying was it was “heart-warming and inspiring to see a young professional coming forward and offering himself for public service under the NDP’s banner, despite the culture of victimisation and fear that pervades the land”.
Johnson offered his full support to Neptune saying, “I am passing the baton to a young, bright and courageous man. He has my blessing and support.”
In his acceptance remarks, Neptune said he was honoured and happy to have been nominated and was overwhelmed at the support from the people of NCW.
He expressed his thanks for the encouragement and support of Johnson, his family, friends and the people of NCW, especially of Byera.
Neptune said: “From the moment I expressed my intention to Johnson, he was fully behind me, encouraging me as a young person. He took me to meetings and introduced me to his committee.”
He further expressed his commitment to work for all the people of NCW, saying that, “our country is too divided.
“It is time for a change, a change where all must have equal opportunity for development and growth.
“I stand behind the ‘One Vincy’ philosophy of [NDP President and Leader of the Opposition] Dr. [Godwin] Friday. I am here for ALL the people”
If his candidacy is ratified, Neptune will face off against Gonsalves, who has been representing North Central Windward for a quarter-century.
General elections are constitutionally due by March 2021, but Gonsalves has said that Vincentians will go to the poll by the end of 2020.
Good luck. I hope you have thick skin to withstand the abuse and victimization.
“…victimisation and fear that pervade the land”. This is true, but those living outside the country may not believe it. You have to live here to know.
Criminology degree….a potential police running against the minister of national security….lol…the irony….watch how he’s gonna ruffle some feathers…..just wait for it….
Go young man. You’re not coming up against Gonsalves. He’s not invincible. You’re making a sacrifice for love of country. You are right. The country is too divided. Time for a change.
Brave move by the NDP glad to see them moving away from the cripple men who can’t walk much less run. Good luck Chiefy.
This is my problem with the NDP. They are not sending the right message to right thinking people.You going to wait one year before election to bring a candidate to come up against the PM . The NDP have failed the supporters of there party in NCW in NW in SCW.They have no one to go to in time of troubles . So they go to the PM for help.MR Friday you are very lazy politically and your style of leadership is very weak.The party is strong but you is very very weak politically.And the NDP most change the way they select the leader. Every Constituency and register members of the party should have a say in selecting the Leader.The NDP is my party but in this world a country needs strong leader not corrupted ones . So this is what this country have to Chose between.One of the oldest corruptible political leader in the Caribbean And the most lazy incompetent backward opposition leader in the Caribbean.Thats a Rock and a hard place.May GOD have mercy on US.
lol respect your honesty
Mr Mac you are obviously reading from Ralph’s playbook. The NDP is not or was never your party. We self servingly talk about giving the youths a chance but I guess there is an exception. You and the ULP must make the selection. There will always be a David to every Goliath.
So Mr Mac, are you saying they shouldn’t have candidate? I am sure they must have been looking for someone. Even though the name is just revealed, I believe he was involved in some way.
I think he is a good choice: young, man, intelligent, ambitious, healthy. I’m so happy to see a young person from that constituency who is not bewitched by Ralph. As PM he gets jobs for the youth in his constituency even when they’re not qualified for the positions. Some of them have to degrade themselves to be ‘successful’. I am telling you, this is a fact. But you can control people for only a time. When they break out it can be hell, so he better be careful of what he is doing.
These are the kind of nonsense and stupid ideologies that make our modern day Vincentian society, who think that they are so intelligent, look stupid, weak, and which politicians like Gonsalves use to his advantage to keep you thinking that he is a demi-god to you people and can’t be defeated. Here’s a young Vincentian, who is educated and offering his services to represent his people, and all you can talk about his degree, not his ability or what he can bring to the table to make the lives of his people better. I have seen very educated people unable to lead effective and persons with little or no educational background becoming great leaders. Education does not always reflect ones ability to be a good leader for the people. No wonder politicians, like Gonsalves would continue to insult our people and divide them, and all you do is sit there and applaud. Know that one lives forever. Therefore, we must encourage our younger generation to pick up the mantle of leader in our community, because when the older ones are gone who is going to do it for us. I applaud the young man for taking up the challenge. At least he knows only the people can determine whether you win or lose. So he should put his faith in the hands of the people and not stupid critics and remarks like this fool! I applaud the young people for getting involved in the political process of our country, either ULP, NDP, Green Party or others. However, thiis type of elitist political type of mentality that is current sweeping the landscape of this nation that stifling our youths needs to stop. Our fore-parents must be rolling over in their graves. Though most of them had no degree, some could not even read or write, but no politician could not fool them with your degrees and hand-outs. I used to feel so proud to be a Vincentian, and I still do, but negative comments like this sicken me to the stomach! Engage our youths to go out and put their best foot forward not try to bring them down with your stupid negative comments. Now is not the time for that foolishness. We have a country to build and we need all hands on deck. Gonsalves is not the only one with the answers to all our problems!
I AGREE and like most of what you said ………for the record , I dont believe anyone said anything negative about this young man ……..yes we need new and young political brains and women to bring forward innovative , bright and a fresh new visions for SVG without the old style political rhetoric .
as the old saying goes “you cant judge a book by its cover” so lets hear what this “book” has to say and offer the people of SVG.
The youth has skin as thick as a cow hide.
Mr Mac you need to apauled the youngster for the bold steps he have taken. To say that Doc Friday is lazy and weak is not true one have to creep before they walk
I wish you goodluck my brother.
I comment you for your efforts and hope that you negotiated a fair and justifiable arrangement as a LAMB to be slaughtered.
Anyone and or any political party that wants to remove Ralph Gonsalves, the pharaoh leader and the ULp from office needs Ricardo Francis on their side.
I am not for SALE and will not be politically prostituted by anyone and or any political party in SVG.
I am very fearless and courage.
Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making
Ricardo you are no match for the Comrade
That which is hidden from the wise and the prudent is revealed to babes and sucklings. Everything in life has its purpose and its reason in every season. Eastern philosophy? If you start at the top there’s no other way to go but down. Courageous Daniel thrown into the lions den. Good luck anyway.
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