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Kenrick Quashie. (iWN file photo)
Kenrick Quashie. (iWN file photo)
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By Kenrick Quashie

I have become rather concerned that the runoff in East St. George for an NDP candidate is getting out of hand. Nevertheless, the bravery of Maferne Mayers-Oliver to challenge Lavern Gibson-Velox is commendable and provides an opportunity for the NDP to tout democracy for what it stands.

As a caution though, democracy does not throw away strategy. The good thing about politics and life itself is that when limes are given, lime squash can always be made. As such, political strategy can be adjusted to suit the circumstance.

It is commendable that multiple people are offering themselves to the NDP across the country. People of high calibre. I remember the time when that was ULP. Oh how tables turn.

As for ESG, the data shows that quite a number of registered voters did not vote in the 2020 election. This allowed Lavern Gibson-Velox to fall short by 196 votes to ULP’s heir apparent, Camillo Gonsalves. It was commendable given that she entered the race late.

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Personally, I don’t think she should have been challenged. But that train is long gone. Coming close to a win in one election does not guarantee a win at the next election and it certainly doesn’t guarantee one the candidacy for the NDP based on the party’s constitution.

I’m reminded of Ben Exeter in the Central Leeward constituency in the 2015 elections. He lost by 314 votes. And given all of the discrepancies that came out of the election enquiry, one can easily conclude that Ben may have been the duly elected candidate. Be that as it may, by 2020, the ULP surpassed the winnings and knocked Ben out of ever being a wining candidate.

If the rumour mill is correct, Fitz Huggins may very well be the ULP’s candidate in East St. George. Fitz is a far greater challenger than Camillo. Regardless of who is eventually chosen to become the NDP’s candidate, it is important that the party consolidates to win the seat.

The NDP will do well to let a full display of democracy play out in ESG. As a matter of fact, it will serve the NDP well to address all of the candidacy challenges in the various constituencies so that there is enough time for the bruises inflicted at the constituency level to be healed in time for general elections.

It does not have the luxury of running bruising campaigns one at a time. As this ESG run-off is teaching them, the race is played out on media at a national level even though it’s a constituency race.

In my last part of this series, I want to address the full NDP slate of candidates and who should be challenged.

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].

One reply on “Un-democratic or poor political strategy — Pt. 2 ”

  1. Urlan Alexander says:

    I am confused. Why Velox should not be challenged? The party constitution says in a nutshell that anyone can be challenged even a sitting MP. I do beleive that Celox did very well the last time around in the short time she had to campaign . However that doesn’t mean she must not be challenged.. after all we are still a democracy and rules are to be followed.

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