Leadership of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is refuting that candidates were dropping out of their upcoming presidential elections.
During a press conference at the DLP’s George Street, St Michael headquarters today, executive member Irene Sandiford-Garner explained the process.
“The branches are asked to send up nominees for the presidential post and vice presidential post. The media got a hold of those names, which we did not officially announce as some persons do not want their business made public until they are ready. Anybody could be nominated from any branch, the office then writes every [nominee] if they are willing to accept the nomination. If they accept, then they become a candidate,” she said.
Sandiford-Garner said it was possible for someone to get nominated without his or her knowledge and that person had no interest in the post. She said this was the case with both Ryan Walters and Francis DePeiza, who opted out of the process and were therefore never candidates.
“You cannot be deemed as ‘dropping out’ if you never accepted the nomination. You may be a person who may not feel comfortable taking a position within [a] political party so you decline, but then the media gets hold of the information and it is stated you are involved in a race for presidency, which would be far from the truth. This has happened. It is setting a dangerous precedent because you can’t endanger people’s livelihoods because you think you have a special scoop,” she said.
The president will be chosen during the party’s extraordinary conference on for May 1. Candidates are Dr David Estwick and Dr Ronnie Yearwood. Around 800 people are expected to cast their vote, with the process scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Counting is expected to begin from 5:30 p.m.
Planning committee member Maxine McClean said the conference, under the theme “Embracing our Legacy, Shaping the Future”, would feature guest speakers such as Professor The Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau, Dr Rose-Ann Blenman-Abange and economist Carlos Forte in addition to undisclosed regional guests and a youth speaker. (CA)