The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is revisiting its selection process for candidates fielded in the general election.
A resolution recommending action on this issue will go before the party’s 59th three-day Annual General Conference that begins on Friday.
General Secretary Donville Inniss said while the DLP does not have a problem with the quality of candidates it put forward in the past, it must ensure that those who seek to serve have a good understanding and are committed to the party, and have “something of substance to offer”.
“We’ve always offered quality people to the electorate but we want to strengthen the process to ensure that there is a training programme for those who come forward to seek to be candidates and there is strong consultation with the constituency branches in terms of candidate selection,” Inniss told a media conference held this morning at the party headquarters.
“The Democratic Labour Party is not going to have a challenge finding quality candidates but we want to make sure that wherever possible, we can strengthen them.”
Inniss predicted that some of the candidates who contested the 2013 general election would not be interested in returning to the polls, though he made it clear he is not among those.
“I am way too young, only 48 years old, to think about retirement. They will have to take me out of Parliament; that’s my attitude,” Inniss said.
He added that sitting members of Parliament may also need retooling to ensure they have what it takes to retain their seats.
The resolution dealing with candidate selection is among 15 submitted to the DLP for consideration at the conference.
The next general election is constitutionally due in 2018.
Another resolution calls for the party to show appreciation for the contributions of the late Sir James Cameron Tudor, a former deputy prime minister and founding member of the DLP.
“There are some of us who feel that Sir James Tudor has not yet gotten that level of national recognition for his contribution to the education, political and social development of Barbados,” Inniss noted.
Other resolutions call for action on domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, and environmental matters.