NDP leader, Godwin Friday, centre, poses with the party’s Marriaqua candidate, Bernard Wyllie, second from right, as well as, from left, Philip Jackson, Kirk Da Silva, and Curtis Bowman after last Thursday’s candidate selection exercise. (Photo: NDP)

Bernard Wyllie is the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP)’s candidate for Marriaqua in the next general elections, expected by year-end.

The NDP’s central committee confirmed and ratified Wyllie as the candidate Thursday night after the three other contenders, including Kirk Da Silva, who gained the most vote at the constituency level, withdrew their candidacy.

Da Silva, who joined the NDP after failing to become the ruling Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) candidate in Marriaqua in 2015, told iWitness News that while he was disappointed with Thursday’s outcome, he will continue to support the NDP.

At the primary held in Marriaqua on Aug. 11, Da Silva received 15 of the 29 votes, followed by eight for Wyllie.

Wyllie, a former MP for the area under the NDP administration, was voted out of office in 1998, when the ULP came within one seat of winning the 15-member Parliament. 

At the primary, Phillip Jackson, who was making his first bid to become a candidate, got four votes, while Curtis Bowman, who was the NDP’s candidate in 2010 and 2015, got two votes.

In keeping with the NDP’s constitution, the outcome of the constituency division’s vote was sent to the NDP President Godwin Friday for forwarding to the party’s central committee. 

The NDP’s central executive met Thursday night to consider the recommendation. 

Friday, who is also Leader of the Opposition, told iWitness News Thursday night that Wyllie was confirmed and ratified as the candidate based on his (Friday’s) recommendation. 

Da Silva, Jackson, and Bowman withdrew their candidacy, Friday said.  

The NDP president said the party has always taken pains to explain the candidate-selection process.

“Under the constitution, the first process is that you are selected by the constituency division, which is like an executive council of the constituency.”

He said that Marriaqua has five party groups and six officers from each group are on the council and are eligible to vote. 

The NDP president said that once the division make the decision, it forwards it to him as the president of the party to be taken to the central committee.

“It’s a recommendation and so if the person does not receive three-quarters of the votes, you are not bound to send the one candidate.”

Friday said he would send more than one names to the central committee if he feels “there is not enough show of support for the candidate, probably, or, in this case, because there was such an outcry publicly and because there was such a narrow vote.”

He said that while Da Silva got 15 votes, which was more than another of the other candidate, it was only 50% of the persons who were eligible to vote.

“And if you consider the other candidates that we’ve had, most those have almost been single candidate nominated or close to 75% in the case of [East] St. George. So, under those circumstances, it’s appropriate to put the matter for the central committee to review,” he told iWitness News. 

“And because of the outcry that has been throughout the constituency and some parts of the country as well, thinking that the selection at the local level did not reflect the popular will, I did my own walk around and there was a lot of comments, negative comments about the decision. 

“People didn’t like it and the person they were calling for, by a wide margin, was Bernard Wyllie.”

Friday said he brought this to the attention of the central committee.

“I addressed the central committee as well and urged their support for the candidate the people want and so Mr. Da Silva withdrew his candidacy and prior to that Curtis and Jackson had withdrawn.

“Jackson had endorsed Wyllie and Curtis essentially withdrew because he felt at the time he was not the best candidate, I suppose.”

Asked how he thought the public would responded to the decision, Friday said he was unsure, but said the process was in keeping with the NDP’s constitution.  

“In our situation, we follow the constitution very closely. That is the nature of our process. It is not done until the central committee. There is precedence for it. It is not like it is unprecedented but the important thing is how the people in Marriaqua feel and I believe the decision here will be welcomed by the supporters of the New Democratic Party in Marriaqua and they are the one who are going to vote.”

Meanwhile, Da Silva noted to iWitness News that Friday had recommended Wyllie as the candidate.

“The president recommended him, so, basically, I had no alternative but to withdraw because he advised the delegates to support Wyllie. So I didn’t let them vote. I think they would have followed the president’s ruling,” Da Silva said.

Asked how he felt about the development, Da Silva told iWitness News:

“I think I am disappointed. … it is part of the constitution that if you did not get 75% of the votes in your constituency that the party has the right to — it is basically the correct procedure so I can’t fight it or anything. That’s all I can say.”

He said he would continue to support the NDP, although he left the ULP after the candidate selection process in 2015.

Asked what makes the NDP different from the ULP, notwithstanding the similar experience, Da Silva said, “As I told everyone, I think I have a contribution to make and if I didn’t make it here I could make it there. If the other party provided an opportunity, why not?

“I will still support the party. I will stick with the party,” he said of the NDP.

This is the second consecutive election in which a retired politician had return to active politics to run as a candidate for his party.

In 2015, Sir Louis Straker came out of retirement after five years to represent the ULP in Central Leeward.

He retained the seat, which his successor in 2010, Maxwell Charles had won.

Previous, Sir Louis had represented Central Leeward from 1994 to 2010.   

11 replies on “NDP chooses Wyllie over Kirk in Marriaqua”

  1. You know the Bible is alright with a lot of things. For instance, “it says all have sins and come short of the glory of God.” Also, “it said people with bigger sins always like to see through others sins.” NDP will condemn ULP for its sins but then go ahead and commit the same damn sins.
    In East St. George they condemn the Prime Minister for throwing his son on the people. However, the NDP candidate for East St. George for the up coming election was selected on the same basis. Friday and others an the Central Committee had recommended Mrs Velox, who was then sanctioned by an ahoc constituency council. Because even after twenty years of being out of office they are so disorganized at the Central Committee level and the constituency level that there is not single functioning party group in East St. George and I know that for a fact.
    Now, it is all well and good for Friday to go out of his way to get his man, Bernard Wyllie, to run instead of Da Silva by talking about what the constitution say. But why the the constitution did not speak for East St George. You are just a bunch of hypocrites and no better than ULP. That is why I say, “all have sins and come short of the glory of God.” Why you all condemning Ralph and Camelo while at the sametime went ahead to sabotage Da Silva? Because you all are the same shits like Ralph and ULP. Why you talking about constitution and you didn’t work on the basis of the constitution in East St George to select your candidate? You see why you must not pick the peck out of another sinner’s when the log is in your own eyes.
    You are no better than Ralph and the ULP in the selection process, so stop the damn hypocrisy. I don’t know Da Silva but I know Wyllie and I know him quite well. I worked under him once when he was Minister of Agriculture and he didn’t impressed me. He was just another typical politician. That’s what we can do with at this juncture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines political mess, where ULP has literally destroy the country. To rescue as we want new thinking and new ideas.
    Not knowing Da Silva I am not incline to speak bias towards him. Based on what I have read and heard about the man. I will say he is the better placed candidate to take down ULP in Marriaqua. Let’s, face it he was on the ground working all the years. This will allow to build up tremendous political capital amongst the total voters. That is he has the support of ULP voters, NDP voters and the people who has not decided as yet. That’s a very valid argument to make and win. Because as Leacock pointed out in his piece the man ,”is always in your face like him.” Also, he invest his time and money heavily in his constituents. Furthermore, he has the pulse of his consitutents always at the right reading. To win this election NDP needs a candidate with these attributes. The man has them he should be the candidate, irrespective of what people think about the man switching party because he was disgruntled. The man has the right to make life and death decisions when he is confronted with situations.
    Let Mr Friday go ahead with his trickery talking about consitution and walk through just to select Wyllie it might just cost him the damn elections.

  2. Hashtag Prince says:

    Smart Decision…Bernard Wylie is the man!!!

    Has a great track record and good political experience.
    The people in The Valley know of his work and former representation.

    He could be the swing that is needed by the NDP.

  3. I totally agree with Justice. Are people so unforgiving and negative? It does not mean because Mr. Da Silva was a former ULP associate that he can’t change from bad to good. I am very upset with the behavior of some people. I am really vex with the NDP.
    We must remember that none of us is perfect and who is without sin, let him throw the first stone. There are people who were bad and wicked criminals but have repented sincerely and given their lives to God. If God accept them, who are we to reject them? I am very upset with that foolish decision to remove Mr. Da Silva.

  4. All of you full of fart. One thing I can tell you all, you are not going to get jimmy prince out of there, he is there for a next round. Jimmy has done a lot for the people of the valley so I know come election you all will be griping because bernard is not going to beat jimmy out of his seat. Goodluck you all. Imagine I know the both candidates born. Lol.

  5. Bernard Birke says:

    .Was the constitution applied for other constituencies. The constitution application here will not removed the bad image of the controversy. The best thing was to have a second voting before the president’s decision.Then all sides wiould have better respect the outcome. As a former Youth Officer I felt the youths’ vote was not sufficiently respected.

    B.Burke

  6. There is a twisted level of consciousness here. Although Wylie’s choice is purely strategic based on his historical achievements, he is not the ideal choice to address the emerging challenges that is currently facing SVG. He may deliver a win for the NDP but not a win for Marriaqua.

    Philip Jackson is a more conscientious and talented individual who will address the challenges of today. He has notable qualities that exist in Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobbs among others. He possesses the the skill to persevere with a great sense of passion and vigor.

  7. What’s going on in Marriaqua resurrecting a man from the grave. Ndp surely lose again, svg needs a new party with young vibrant people ndp needs to be defunct. They are a confused bunch

  8. The election that everybody is fighting about is already on the ball for ulp, so all the f iui got that ndp and the compadres is fussing about is going to be a big burst mouth when the time of election. Goodluck you all.

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