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Voice of the people

Lisa King

Voice  of the people

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TODAY,?the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) branch members in St James North will meet to decide who will represent them in the next general election.
That nomination process will go ahead without the incumbent for the constituency, Rawle Eastmond, who has declared that he would not be participating.
Residents from St James North have been giving mixed reactions to today’s nomination.
 Alonza Seale, who operates the 2Way Barber Shop in Sion Hill, along the Ronald Mapp Highway, opposite Eastmond’s house, described the situation as “pure ignorance”.
“To me, Eastmond looks to be in good health,” Seale said. “He looks very well, so I do not see the reason why he has to go through the nomination process.”
However, he said that if the situation called for Eastmond to do so, then he should step up to the plate and take part in the election process.
“I have said to Eastmond that he has done some ignorant things and a lot of people in the constituency have lost respect for him. He has to understand that if the law of the party states that if someone wants to contest then he has to abide by the laws, so step up to the plate for the constituents.”
Nevertheless, Seale said Eastmond had brought the situation on himself as he was the person who had brought Edmund Hinkson – one of the other two contenders – into the constituency.
“He is the one who walked around the constituency with the man. I was sitting in my garage and Rawle brought the man to me and said he [Hinkson] is the man that he is endorsing for the candidacy,” Seale said.
Michael Holder, who was selling vegetables at the side of the road in Sion Hill Terrace, said “the whole situation was interesting”.
He opined that it was time for change and Eastmond should give someone else a chance; someone who could do it the way it should be done.
“Step back and give someone else a chance. We want action,” said Holder, who has been living in the constituency for more than 25 years.
Even though he knows the other two candidates vying for the BLP nomination, Holder admitted to not having a preference, but hoped that whoever got the nod would get in and do the work that needed to be done in the constituency.
Meanwhile, Christopher “Boo” Bryant, owner of Chris’ Place, Bar and Variety Store, in Rock Dundo, said he did not have enough information to speak with any authority on the matter.  
Bryant said he had supported the BLP for “all my life” and made the point that once a candidate was chosen for the constituency he would lend them his support.
On the other hand, 74-year-old Rock Dundo resident, Neville Alleyne, was not in agreement with those who thought Eastmond should be subjected to participating in the nomination process.
Alleyne said he voted for Eastmond from the time he began representing the constituency in 1991.
“He will run again.
I do not feel they could stop him,” Alleyne said.
At the popular John Moore’s Bar in Weston, the proprietor declared he was keeping a low profile on the issue. He did not express loyalty to any of the individuals trying to get the nomination.  
“When the day comes, and I feel like voting for a fella, I will vote,” he said.
Another constituent, who was seen at the bar, but chose to remain anonymous, said he found the whole situation strange. The elderly gentleman said he was not in favour of the nomination process and asked if six of seven other Members of Parliament of the BLP had automatically been chosen, then why not Eastmond.
“He should not have to go through the nomination process, especially since he is the incumbent for just over two decades. His representation over the years has been excellent, therefore Eastmond should be the automatic choice.”