When the New Democratic Party’s central committee convened on Thursday August 20, the primary intent was to ratify the candidates selected by the East Saint George and Marriaqua constituency councils.
In a complete turnabout of affairs the Party’s highest decision making body opted to anoint former area MP Bernard R. Wyllie to represent the Marriaqua constituency in lieu of that district’s delegates’ choice. Kirk Da Silva, a former Unity Labour Party hopeful politician, emerged from the Marriaqua primaries with a 7 vote lead on Wyllie’s tally and copped more votes than all the remaining contenders combined.
Wyllie managed to secure the second highest vote count – 8 – when that round of the contest were finalized just over two weeks ago.
But as fate would have it the dynamics may just not have been in DaSilva’s favor as separate polls conducted by the NDP, since the August 11 primaries – we’ve been told – showed Wyllie enjoyed a better approval rating in the largely agricultural district.
“The polls and the pulse both said Wyllie. Everybody seemed to be calling for Wyllie,” an NDP insider told us. Reports claim that a constituency walkabout conducted by Party Leader Dr. Godwin Friday revealed that the potential constituents favored Wyllie over the other contenders in the four way primary race.
In the wake of claims reporting Wyllie’s endorsement by the central committee we reached out to the Party’s Public Relations Officer, Laverne King. She not only confirmed the reports received but also noted that “the NDP is the most resilient political institution that I know and I’m confident that we made a winning decision tonight.”
ANN understands that the other 3 contenders conceded their 2020 political aspirations in support of the NDP’s ultimate selection “Wyllie, a candidate who would deliver Marriaqua.”
After his first electoral victory in 1989, Wyllie the then MP for Marriaqua, served as a Parliamentary Secretary for that first term.
His ‘Minister-in-training’ portfolios included Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Community Development and the Ministry of Communications and Works.
Success at the 1994 polls would result in his appointment as the Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce before another reshuffle that caused him to assume responsibilities as the Labor and Agriculture Minister sometime later.
The advent of Girlyn Miguel’s election in 1998 precipitated Wyllie’s retirement from electoral politics though he kept active as the PRO of the NDP’s New York based political organization.
At the end of Thursday night’s deliberations, Laverne Gibson-Velox was approved as the NDP’s candidate to vie for the East St. George constituency while Wyllie is now the named New Democratic Party candidate for Marriaqua.
One other potential NDP candidate is left to face the ratification process when the central executive reconvenes shortly.