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Andrew John.
Andrew John.

The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) on Thursday (today) ratified its South Windward Constituency Council’ selection of Andrew John as the candidate for the district in the next general elections.

John, a retired educator, defeated environmentalist Andrew Simmons in a primary one week earlier. 

iWitness News was reliably informed that the Central Committee of the NDP unanimously ratified John by a simple resolution which was moved by Artis Davis, chairman of the party’s South Windward Constituency Council. 

John, a 59-year-old retired educator and former principal, addressed the central committee and pledged to work with everyone to win the constituency for the NDP, sources said. 

He also told the meeting that he is resigning his post as industrial relations officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union so as to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest and to focus fully on his campaign. 

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The source said that John told the meeting that  he and Simons  will work together to ensure that no “petty differences” or other issues affect his chances of winning the seat . 

NDP President and Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday, expressed pleasure at having John as a member of the NDP’s team, adding that he was looking forward to working along with John to win the seat for the NDP.

Noel Dickson, who was the NDP’s candidate for South Windward in the 2015 and 2020 general elections also pledged his support for John’s candidacy.

The South Windward constituency has remained in the fold of the Labour since 1994 when Burton Williams, then minister row health under the NDP, ran against the party after a fall-out with then Prime Minister and NDP founder, Sir James Mitchell.

Sir Vincent Beach won the South Windward seat for the St. Vincent Labour Party-Movement for National Unity coalition in the 1994 general elections.

He defeated Williams, who ran as an independent candidate, and the NDP’s Alfred Bynoe.

The NDP has failed in its bids — including in 2010 with Williams as the candidate — to retake the seat.

It came closest in the 2020 elections, when Noel Dickson made his second bid to win the seat.

In that vote, Dickson fell 219 votes shy as Frederick Stephenson of the ruling Unity Labour Party secured a third consecutive five-year  term and the party a fifth consecutive five-year term in office.