Newcomer Caddle beats Gill to BLP nod
NEWCOMER Marsha Caddle pulled off an upset in the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) St Michael South Central branch last night when she defeated veteran David Gill to win the nomination to contest the next general election.
But the divisiveness that characterised the race reared its head yet again when Gill publicly suggested that the party was not impartial.
Gill, 61, a former Member of Parliament, received 103 votes to Caddle’s 132.
Gill’s accusation that he was denied 60 votes by the party machinery was levelled at the end of Caddle’s acceptance speech. It prompted an immediate response from BLP general secretary Dr Jerome Walcott, who struck aside the charge.
Gill said: “Like Tony Blair when he left, he said when the curtains come down it is time to leave the stage. I would like to announce to you here tonight that I have left the stage of the Barbados Labour Party. The machinery was against me . . . . I think I have done well.”
He was booed by some of the scores of party supporters attending the meeting at The St Michael School, who had earlier shouted for “young blood”.
Even prior to voting, Gill, the Opposition caretaker for the constituency for several general elections, had charged that some people were making “pie-in-the-sky promises”, and also spoke of “fly-by-night” candidates.
David Gill bids farewell as BLP general secretary Dr Jerome Walcott looks on.
His microphone audio was cut when he ignored a warning from Walcott that he had exceeded the allotted ten minutes given for each contender to speak. Despite this, he continued speaking for a short time after.
In response, Walcott made it clear that the “party has a constitution that we abide by”. Quoting from the document, he said people must apply six weeks before their membership could be recognised.
In the case of Gill, he explained, the politician had submitted 71 forms on August 26, some 23 of which were incomplete and in some instances unsigned.
Caddle, who was proposed by surgeon Maurice Walrond, had earlier offered an olive branch to Gill, saying she was willing to work with him to defeat the incumbent Richard Sealy.
“I am touched and heartened and so encouraged by the amount of support that I have received from the people of St Michael South Central and from the Barbados Labour Party,” she said.
“I want to thank David Gill for the fight and to acknowledge his contribution to this constituency. Mr Gill, we are going to build on this legacy with your support.” (WILLCOMM)