(CNW) – New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Dr Godwin Friday says there is no shortage of candidates to contest the upcoming general elections on his party’s behalf.
Dr Friday’s declaration came on Monday amid concerns that the party was yet to present a full slate of candidates to the public and speculation that it was going for at least two retired politicians – Monty Roberts in North Windward and Bernard Wyllie in Marriaqua.
One caller to the NDP’s New Times interactive programme on NICE Radio said one of his problems was that he was not hearing about the candidates and he wanted “to hear them come forward now so that we could know who is who… We ain’t want no more guess again.”
In his response, Dr Friday said: “Yes, I agree with you. And we are working on that and we will get that done as soon as possible. But, understand this, there is no shortage of people who want – good people, capable people who want to be candidates for the New Democratic Party. “
Dr Friday further said the NDP was “in a very privileged position” as there were “so many capable people who want to become candidates.”
“If it was a matter of not having people and you have to just basically grab and scrape you could have gone and announce that one time because it is only one person. But here we have people, we have candidates who will be announced soon as it is strategically in the interest of the party to do so; and who will be winning candidates for the NDP. That is what we want most of all,” Dr Friday said.
The NDP is yet to name candidates for East Kingstown – to replace former party leader Arnhim Eustace; East St George – to replace Dr Linton Lewis, former party chairman; and North Windward, to replace Lauron Baptiste.
Since the 2010 elections, the NDP has named three new candidates – lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste for West St George, replacing UWI lecturer Dr Jules Ferdinand; lawyer Israel Bruce, replacing former teacher Addison Thomas in South Central Windward; and recent UWI graduate Chieftain Neptune, who replaces former school principal Kenroy Johnson in North Central Windward.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has already stated that elections will be held by December this year.