Newly elected first vice president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Michael Lashley says his role is to promote inclusivity within the political organisation.
He was speaking at the DLP headquarters in George Street, Belleville after the votes for the internal election had been counted on Saturday night.
Lashley finished with 497 votes, some distance ahead of Walter Maloney on 376. Felicia Dujon was third with 334 votes and Andre Worrell fourth in the quarter of elected vice presidents on 269.
“I think my role is to bring inclusivity by helping members who served before at an administerial level and include the young people in order to really engender a sense of unity in the party. Once we can bring that unity and get all the forces together, the Democratic Labour Party will be a force to be reckoned with,” the attorney said.
When asked about the measures that were needed to make that a reality, he said: “We have to put our heads together. We also have to look at policy positions and policy committees, and indeed, by the use of policy committees, we can include persons with various skill sets of which would include persons who ran and lost, as well as those outside of that group that can add to the party. I think that is the way forward.”
Lashley said that despite all the noise around the party ahead of the internal election, all of its members were effectively singing from the same hymn sheet.
“The country shouldn’t look at the party as disunited but rather that for this exercise (the election) you will have loyalties and various persons representing those loyalties,” he concluded.
Dr Ronnie Yearwood retained leadership of the DLP as 422 votes secured him another two years at the helm of a party seeking to regain its footing after losing the last two elections heavily. Dr David Estwick was his closest challenger with 227 votes while Ryan Walters (188) and Richard Sealy (29) rounded out the list of challengers.
Steve Blackett kept his position as General Secretary, seeing off the challenge of Kemar Stuart (510 votes to 290), while Pedro Shepherd is the assistant general secretary with 365 votes. (JC)