The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) will this weekend look to begin the move forward following its devastating loss at the polls.
The DLP will hold its 63rd annual conference on Sunday, August 12, under the theme, Forward Dems.
In addition to the presentation of a number of reports, the DLP will also hold its internal election, including a vote for a president to replace the outgoing Freundel Stuart, who announced his retirement shortly after the results of the May 24 general election were announced.
“All offices at the time of this release are to be contested,” General Secretary George Pilgrim said in a release today.
Among those vying for a top post is Guy Hewitt, the former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, who, along with Damien Griffith, Andre Worrell and Guyson Mayers, wants to take “fresh guard” and rebuild the party after the most crushing election defeat in Barbadian political history, party sources have told Barbados TODAY.
In the wake of the historic 30-to-nil drubbing in the May 24 polls, Hewitt accused the DLP of “losing its way” and being no longer for the people. He suggested it needed to rid itself of “past baggage” in order to move forward.
However, missing will be Donville Inniss, the former Minister of Industry, Commerce, International Business and Small Business Development, who was indicted in the United States on Monday for money laundering.
Inniss was expected to contest the position of general secretary, party officials said, and his arrest had led to calls for the postponement of the conference.
However, Pilgrim said the party would go ahead with the conference despite the concerns.
“We can’t postpone the conference just like that. The conference is . . . something that happens every year and everything will be ready for us to move full steam ahead,” he stressed.
Inniss, who represented St James South in the House of Assembly for ten years before he was whipped by Sandra Husbands of the Barbados Labour Party in the May 24 general election, securing only 24 per cent of the votes cast, compared to 68 per cent by Husbands, was arrested in the United States in the early hours of Friday morning, and was subsequently charged with money laundering.
In a three-count Grand Jury indictment, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York accuses the former Cabinet minister of engaging in a scheme to accept US$36,000 in bribes from a Barbadian insurance company, then laundering the cash into the US.
The alleged incidents occurred some time between August 2015 and April 2016, the indictment said.
It also said it involved insurance contracts with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation by a majority-Bermudian owned Barbadian insurance company not named in the indictment, but since identified as the Insurance Corporation of Barbados.