With shouts of “We have back our king” and “The king is back on his throne” a crowd of exuberant Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) supporters Thursday night officially and warmly welcomed former Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Dr William Duguid back into the BLP fold.
As expected, Dr Duguid was nominated unopposed to carry the BLP banner in that southern riding whenever general elections are called.
It took a mere ten minutes for him to be given the nod of approval.
Dr Duguid was proposed by Branch President Lisa Jaggernauth and seconded by former Democratic Labour Party candidate Taan Abed during a well-attended nomination meeting at the Arthur Smith Primary School in St Matthias, Christ Church.
The dentist turned politician first represented the constituency in 2003 before resigning ahead of the 2013 poll and migrating to Canada.
In his place, the BLP had installed another dentist, Dr Maria Agard, who was expelled from the party last November at the height of a bitter internal impasse but remains the sitting representative for the constituency in Parliament while she awaits the outcome of her court challenge to her BLP dismissal.
An emotional Dr Duguid came close to shedding a tear, even though the joy of being back in the Christ Church West was written all over his face.
However, in his address to constituents, he expressed concern about an increase in the level of the poverty across Barbados over the past seven years.
The former Shadow Minister of Health also restated his opposition to the introduction of user fees at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital, while suggesting that if a national health insurance scheme were implemented there should be a reduction in income taxes.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley pointed out that Dr Duguid’s nomination coincided with the 78th anniversary of the formation of the Barbados Progressive League, which was the forerunner to the BLP, as she lamented that many of the social ills that were present then, including poor water service and high unemployment, still exist today.
She told the crowd, which included other BLP Christ Church candidates with the exception of attorney-at-law Ralph Thorne who is travelling on legal business, inspired and disciplined leadership was most needed at this time.
Noticeably absent was BLP General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott, who was earlier rumoured to have an interest in carrying the BLP banner in Christ Church West. He was also said to be overseas.