A senior member of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is urging Barbadians not to rush to judgement about the leadership capabilities of the newly elected DLP President Verla De Peiza, before giving her an opportunity to outline her vision for the major political party.
According Dr David Estwick, who at times did not see eye to eye with his colleagues in the Freundel Stuart Cabinet, told Barbados TODAY it was way to early to say if De Peiza was the best person to lead the rebuilding effort.
“The new president and general council was only elected last night and they have not yet called formal meetings to start getting themselves in shape to start planning what they want to do and how they want to do it. We have to give them an opportunity to settle down and let the party machinery get back in its place,” Estwick said.
At the DLP’s annual conference on Sunday DePeiza, who was unopposed, took the reins from Stuart, who had announced three months earlier that he was stepping down following the party’s 30-0 defeat to the Barbados Labour Party.
Former Parliamentary Secretary Irene Sandiford-Garner was elected as first vice president, with Nicholas Alleyne, George Connolly and Andre Worrell as 2nd, 3rd and 4th vice president, respectively, while Frank Firebrace was elected as treasurer.
Meanwhile, long-standing General Secretary George Pilgrim has stepped down from that post despite pleas from Stuart for him to remain, the former leader said.
Guyson Mayers emerged as the new general secretary while Undene Whittaker is assistant general secretary. Since the announcement several naysayers have questioned De Peiza’s leadership credentials, having never won a parliamentary seat. Some pundits have described her ascension as a stopgap until a new leader emerges.
However Estwick argued that the critics should bear in mind that while De Peiza was the president of the party, the DLP is comprised of several other organs.
“What we elected was the president, and the executive council and general council are major organs of the party. Those organs will ensure that the party remains viable and can operate effectively. So we have got to give them a little more time in order to start setting out the framework, policies and strategies that they would want to carry forward. We have to wait and see what direction the new president takes the party before persons can make a determination,” he stressed.