“D-vided on Senate seats”

george-pilgrim-051318

The councils of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) will officially meet today for the first time since last Thursday’s 30-0 drubbing in the General Election.

And one of the items on the agenda will be whether to take up the offer of two Senate appointments made by Prime Minister Mia Mottley during last Sunday’s Cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Bay Street.

Mottley said she had spoken to Governor General Dame Sandra Mason about a constitutional amendment which would give the losing party securing the highest number of votes, in this case the DLP, the two spots usually reserved for Opposition senators.

However, DLP general secretary George Pilgrim said yesterday no formal offer had been made and the executive and general councils would be meeting for the first time today.

Within the DLP, there is divided opinion on whether to accept the appointments. Campaign manager for the last election, Robert “Bobby” Morris, said they would rightfully reclaim their seats in the legislature in time and there was no need to take up the offer.

However, George Connolly, one of the new candidates who ran in St James Central and who lost his deposit, took an opposing view.

“I’ve heard the comments of ‘Bobby’ Morris and I have a lot of respect for him, but I disagree vehemently with the position that he took on that. I think we need a voice, and a senatorial voice is as good a voice as any. You can’t effect any major changes, but certainly you can have a voice. So I am in total agreement if the offer is made that it should be accepted,” he told Starcom Network yesterday.

Connolly also said he would be willing to be part of the party’s rebuilding process.

“If there is opinion out there that I should be one of the ones in the forefront, I am not going to shy away from that. There is a lot that we need to do,” he added.

Former parliamentarian Hamilton Lashley, who served on both sides of the divide, also urged the DLP to accept the offer from Mottley as part of his advice to “clean house”.

Rodney Grant, who was defeated in St Michael South East, was also in favour of taking the offer.

“I still believe that if we have an opportunity to go into any aspect of the houses, Upper House or Lower House, and speak on behalf of the people, I think it is good for democracy,” Grant said. (SAT)