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Brenton Smith Nigel Stephenson

NDP General Secretary, Brenton Smith, left, and Nigel “Nature” Stephenson, who was elected one of the party’s two vice-presidents on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (iWN file photo)

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Brenton Smith, a police officer who was fired in December over his refusal to take a COVID-19 vaccine, as mandated by the Ralph Gonsalves government, was today (Sunday) elected general secretary of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

Smith, a former station sergeant of police who was chair of the Police Welfare Association at the time of his dismissal, amassed 130 votes, to win the two-way race that included the incumbent, Tyrone James, a retired SVG Coast Guard commander, who held the post for five years.

James got123 votes(48.6%) in Sunday’s election.

Meanwhile, South Leeward MP, Nigel “Nature” Stephenson was elected to one of the two vice-president posts, joining Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock, who has been an NDP vice president for two decades.

In a four-way race, Leacock garnered a convincing 243 votes (48%), while Stephenson received 125 (24.7%) of the ballots cast.

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Fitzgerald Bramble, a first-term MP for East Kingstown, got 89 votes (17.6%) while senator Israel Bruce, who failed to win the South Central Windward seat in his first attempt in 2020, got 49 votes (9.7%).

Opposition Leader Godwin Friday was returned to the presidency of the party unopposed, as was also the case with West Kingstown MP, Daniel Cummings, who remains chairman of the NDP.

The deputy chairperson post went to Lavern Velox, who gained 118 votes (46.6%), compared to Bernard Wyllie’s 98 votes (38.7%) and Glenford Stewart’s 37 votes (14.6%)

Harvey Farrell was elected assistant secretary general, having defeated Igal Adams, 160 votes (63.2%) to 93 votes (36.8%).

The party’s spokesperson, Lavern King also retained her post as public relations officer, having attracted 148 votes (58.5%) against Colin Graham — 105 votes (41.5%).

Louann Hadaway –131 votes (51.8%) — defeated Frank Clarke — 64 votes (25.3%) — and Horace Williams — 58 votes (22.9%) — to fill the treasurer position.

Amos Cruickshank, Bert Francois, Johann Stewart, Maurice Horne, and Crystal John were elected committee members, with 16.2%, 14.2%, 14.1%, 13.3%, and 10.6% of the vote each.

The other contenders were Lisa Grecia (73 votes — 5.8%), Shaquille Lewis (94 votes — 7.4%), Jeanie Ollivierre (111 votes — 8.8%), Kenny Regis (88 votes –7.0%), and Ingrid Walters (35 votes — 2.8%)