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Shevern John, left, and Grace Walters.
Shevern John, left, and Grace Walters.

By Kenrick Quashie

Now that the ULP’s North Windward Constituency council has elected Dr. Grace Walters to be their candidate for the next election, the race to the next general elections has officially started.

We eagerly await Walters’ appointment as a senator in the House of Parliament and as a Minister of Government.

Montgomery Daniel stopped campaigning in North Windward in 2015. Circumstances forced him to be retained as the ULP’s candidate for North Windward in 2020, which he held on to by 62 votes.

Since then, the NDP’s Shevern John has been making serious in-roads in North Windward. She remains on the ground and with the people. The same cannot be said of Montgomery Daniel. This dynamic changes now that the ULP has identified its candidate.

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The selection of Walters as the candidate goes against the ULP’s policy and practice of confirming candidates this early in the term. The practice has always been to position the individual with a posh government appointment, among them a senatorial post and then within the fourth year of the term, formally elect the individual at the constituency level as the official candidate. This practice gives room for changes without being seen as uncertain and indecisive.

As such, observers may see this move in North Windward as an indication that Prime Minister Gonsalves will call early elections. I beg to differ. My verdict is that the die has not been cast.

North Windward is a must-win seat for either of the political parties. It certainly is for the ULP if it wishes to retain government. However, given the strong momentum that Shevern has in the constituency, PM Gonsalves understands that the next ULP candidate needs to enter the race early.

How Grace fares in the early part of her campaign will determine the General elections date. If within the first few months it looks like North Windward will embrace Grace Walters and it looks like she stands a chance against Shevern, then PM Gonsalves will seek to give Grace more time on the ground in 2024 for her to gain traction.

On the other hand, if Grace doesn’t get a good reception in North Windward and doesn’t gain traction, then the element of surprise will be employed by PM Gonsalves and an early and snap general elections will be called. He will be ill advised to do otherwise.

Stretching the election date to burn out the NDP will prove detrimental to him and I am pretty sure that his election consultants will advise him to call the elections early in order to stand a chance.

One can easily assume, true or not, that the NDP’s hosting of the very well-attended Hope Rally in Georgetown two weeks ago and the subsequent announcement that another will be held on the Leeward side of the island soon, means that the NDP has secured a funding source or sources to sustain them until the next general elections, whenever  that might be.

Either way, even if Grace Walters gains momentum in North Windward, she will not be able to sustain it until 2025. I can, therefore, comfortably say that general elections will be held in 2024.

If the NDP is prepared for general elections, it will serve them well to ensure that Dr. Grace Walters doesn’t gain any traction in North Windward. That will mean elections in late 2023 but no later than the first quarter of 2024.

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

5 replies on “North Windward will determine the next general elections date”

  1. Take warning says:

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  2. Ralph has to allow the ULP to select the next PM and he’s having a hard time because he doesn’t see a coronation for Camillo. He kept Daniel there to buy time, but Daniel is getting out, so he has to get a replacement, so he can name a Deputy,=, which should be Caesar. The NDP should start working on North and South Leeward now. They have to win those seats if they hope to beat the ULP.
    The work on the Kingstown project shows Ralph is looking at an early election. The AIA has proven it is a failure as far as Vincentians are concerned. It’s not doing anything for SVG as far as tourism in concerned. And now Sandals can depend on “DOT WRRY ABOUT A TING” to bring people to the island because of the Airline problems.

  3. Urban Alexander says:

    Very good analysis. However because you mention this realistic view if things. The madman we have here will do something erratic to make your analysis look off. Such is the nature of the narcissist.

  4. Percy Palmer says:

    North Leeward will also go NDP if Patel is sent home. The problem for the ULP will come forward when Ralph tries to move Baby DOC in to replace him.

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