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St John call

Eric Smith

St John call

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THE DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY’S (DLP’s) candidate for the St John constituency should be known by early next week.
Next Sunday, January 2, 2011, all those people who have written the party expressing an interest in contesting the seat made vacant following the death on October 23 of Prime Minister David Thompson, will have an opportunity to outline why they should be considered.
They are being required to each make a five-minute presentation to the St John constituency branch during a special meeting to be held at the St John Parish Church hall.
The DLP’s general secretary, George Pilgrim, yesterday described the process as “standard operating procedure of the branch” to call and hear from all those expressing interest. He said that they were about 12 people who had expressed an interest.
   It is still uncertain whether Mara Thompson, widow of the late Prime Minister, is among those who has expressed an interest in contesting the seat, as Pilgrim made it clear yesterday that next week’s presentations would be from those who had expressed an interest to the party, not only those who had written. Mara Thompson and her children are reported to be spending the Christmas holidays in St Lucia, and are due back this week.
 Some of those who have expressed an interest in contesting the nomination for the seat have stated that if Thompson was interested in the seat, then they would make a presentation but withdraw from the race.
No details
 Pilgrim yesterday declined to go into details, pointing out “that is not the way the DLP does its business”.
Among those known to be interested in contesting the nomination to be the DLP’s candidate are longtime party stalwart in St John, Anthony Walrond, a retired secondary and former chairman of the National Cultural Foundation.
He has indicated that he was preparing for next Sunday’s presentation.
Others seeking the nomination are businessmen Dale Lashley and Peter Carter, both of whom are also from the parish and still have strong links within the constituency.
Next Sunday’s meeting, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., is expected to attract national attention as it is believed the candidate proposed by the branch to the DLP’s hierarchy will be walking into what is generally regarded as a safe parliamentary seat for the party, which has held it unbroken since 1958.
A by-election to fill the vacant seat must be held by January 20.
The Barbados Labour Party has already nominated Hudson Griffith as its candidate.