By Demion McTair. Updated 9:33 a.m., Wednesday, August 12, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – A supporter of public servant, Phillip Jackson, is petitioning the central executive of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), to make Jackson the party’s candidate for the Marriaqua constituency in the next general election.
The petition was started by Keson Baptiste, after Mr. Jackson failed in his bid to get the nod from delegates at the party’s Marriaqua constituency council candidate selection meeting on Tuesday (August 11).
Kirk Dasilva, an accountant, who once expressed an active interest to be the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP’s) candidate for Marriaqua, received the nod from the NDP’s delegates in Marriaqua to represent the party in the next election.
Of the 29 delegates who participated, Da Silva was given 15 votes. Former NDP representative for the constituency, Bernard Wyllie received 8 votes. Public servant, Phillip Jackson received 4 votes, while former candidate Curtis Bowman, a pharmacist, received 2 votes.
Once ratified by the central executive of the NDP, Mr. DaSilva will come up against the incumbent parliamentary representative for Marriaqua, St. Clair Jimmy Prince, who comfortably won the seat in the 2015 general election for the ULP.
Jackson, however, was trending on social media the most out of all the other hopefuls.
In response to the vote, Mr. Jackson posted on Facebook: “My friends and well wishers, I did not get the votes I was confident of getting tonight. Congrats to Kirk DaSilva who got just little over half of the total. The central executive of the party will deliberate on these results. I will, with my team and family, assess what these results mean, or more accurately, should mean for me going forward. Thank you all for the Love”.
A petition was created on Change.org by Keson Baptiste, shortly after the results asking the central executive of the NDP to review the decision.
“NDP Central executive needs to step in quickly and appoint a more favourable candidate thank Kirk. Frankly, the NDP’s leadership should have stepped in long time to orchestrate a better result in Marriaqua. This was not a display of hands-on leadership by the higher echelon of the party. It lacked political craftsmanship,” Baptiste’s petition says.
“Kirk does not bring national appeal. His selection has made the NDP’s position in Marriaqua weaker. There is no added value to the party overall image in selecting Kirk,” Baptiste’s petition says.
The next general election is largely expected by December 2020, in keeping with the incumbent ULP’s trend of hosting the all of the elections they’ve called since 2005, in December.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has also repeatedly said that he would not go beyond the five-year period into the constitutional three-month grace period for holding the election, which ends in March 2021.