The South Windward constituency council of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has chosen trade unionist and retired educator Andrew John as their preferred candidate for the next general elections.
John defeated environmentalist Andrew Simmons, who holds a doctorate in environmental science, during a primary at Democrat House, the NDP’s headquarters in Kingstown on Thursday night, sources told iWitness News.
One source said that John secured 39 of the votes while Simmons gained 27.
The vote has to be ratified by the central executive of the NDP before John is formally declared a candidate.
John told iWitness News on Friday that he is currently the industrial relations officer of the Teachers’ Union but noted that it is not an executive position.
He said that while he will ultimately give up that post, he will gauge the reaction of teachers to his potential candidacy.
“I will watch and see how it goes. Grace Walters and them didn’t give up theirs,” he told iWitness News.
He was referring to the hospital administrator, who continues to hold that post, after the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) North Windward constituency council in May 2023 identified her as their preferred candidate.
John, who is 59, retired after teaching for 35 years.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in management studies and a certificate in teacher education. He lives in Argyle.
General elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are constitutionally due by February 2026 but some political observers say they could come as early as this year.
The ULP will be seeking an unprecedented sixth consecutive term in office, having governed the country since March 2001.