L-R : Renson Haynes , Laverne Velox (Candidate Elect ) Dr.Godwin Friday (Leader of The NDP ) Adriana King

Laverne Gibson-Velox, the first woman to manage a financial institution here, was selected to represent the East St. George constituency for the New Democratic Party in the upcoming general elections which are constitutionally due by March 2021.
Now a retiree, Gibson-Velox led the 3 way race with 14 of the 20 votes cast in the nomination process. While educator Adriana King and former national footballer Renson Haynes racked up 3 votes each and were said to have pledged their commitment to Gibson-Velox’s bid to help “effect the change” of area representative and ultimately national government.
Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves is the incumbent Member of Parliament for East St. George. He is said to have secured the highest number of votes recorded in the 2015 general elections; his first outing at the polls.
Jubilant at the news of her nomination following last Wednesday evening’s constituency council meeting, Gibson-Velox told us, “I’m just happy that I am at least getting the opportunity to serve my country, to give back because I’ve received much from it. So I now have an opportunity to give back in a tangible way, in a real way.”
Additionally, she promised that her perspective constituents can expect, “great representation with inclusivity” as the hallmark of her political tenure. As to the winning strategy she employed so far, Gibson-Velox, also a celebrated cook and former broadcaster, remarked, “everybody have their own style of doing it. I did mines quietly. I didn’t do the social media and that kind of thing because basically I thought it was an internal matter that didn’t need all that extra attention.”
NDP’s General Secretary Tyrone James explained further that Gibson-Velox’s appointment was only part of the candidate selection process since the Party’s Central Committee must convene to sanction her recent nomination. Although James could not commit to a specific timeline for Gibson-Velox’s ratification as, “that’s a central committee function,” he opined that the process would be finalized, “as soon as they decide to meet;” which he suspected, “may be soon.”
Meanwhile the 4 prospective NDP candidates in the Marriaqua constituency primaries are set to square off in approximately 2 weeks, General Secretary James confirmed.
If sanctioned, Gibson-Velox’s candidacy would bring to 4 the total number of women, who have so far, been declared by either of the 2 major political parties as contestants in the 2020 Vincentian general elections.
Dr. Minerva Glasgow and Senator Debbie Charles would run on the Unity Labour Party ticket while Senator Kay Bacchus-Baptiste and Gibson-Velox would contest on the NDP’s roster. Another woman, Shevern Lewis-John, is widely believed to be the frontrunner for the NDP’s North Windward constituency nomination.

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