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Win for Symmonds

Wade Gibbons

Win for Symmonds

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KERRIE SYMMONDS easily defeated Rommel Marshall 79-33 in last night’s nomination process at Welches Primary School, St Thomas, to select a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate to contest the St James Central seat in the next general election.But the victory did not come before he received a stinging rebuke from Marshall for his attitude in the constituency since the 2008 general election.Marshall, who narrowly lost his St Michael West Central seat to James Paul in 2008, said it was never his initial desire to contest the nomination.He said he originally entered the constituency working on behalf of Symmonds at his invitation.However, he charged that Symmonds subsequently told him he was no longer interested in representing the constituency. Marshall stressed it was after Symmonds expressed his disinterest that he decided to “throw my hat into the mix”.Marshall said it was Symmonds’ indication that he was finished with St James Central that led others such as attorney-at-law Gregory Nicholls and Reginald Knight to also seek the nomination. Both Nicholls and Knight have since withdrawn.Marshall revealed he went about canvassing St James Central on behalf of the BLP and worked in the constituency assisting with the acquisition of street lights and improved roads.The former Minister of Transport and Works said he was surprised to learn that Symmonds was returning to the political fray.Marshall said after previously working on Symmonds’ behalf, the latter should have had the “decency” to inform him of a change of heart. This, he said, Symmonds never did.Responding to Marshall, Symmonds questioned the veracity of his comments without going into specifics. He did not deny Marshall had been working in St James Central on his behalf, but asked if he had been working in his interest, why was he now opposing him at the nomination.Symmonds’ departure from the political arena had been shrouded in controversy.On August 14, 2009 Opposition Leader Mia Mottley announced he had resigned from the Senate. However, on March 16 this year while at St James Secondary School, Symmonds said his resignation had been “eagerly sought and accepted”.While extolling the leadership of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, he said there were some in the higher echelons of the party who were wasting their time and intellectual energy.