Out of a job as finance minister and said to be bowing out of elective politics, Chris Sinckler is about to be replaced as Democratic Labour Party (DLP) caretaker representative for the St Michael North West constituency by political newbie Ryan Walters, a fast food executive, Barbados TODAY has learned.
Walters, the local general manager of hamburger chain Burger King has already announced his intention to be the party’s representative for the urban riding.
Sinckler, who lost his seat to Barbados Labour Party (BLP) newcomer Neil Rowe in the May 24 general election, is not likely to continue in active politics, sources have told this newspaper.
Walters, 39, is among the first set of new blood seeking to represent the struggling DLP, following its crushing defeat at the May 24 polls and an apparent loss of confidence in most of the existing DLP stalwarts who once held the reins of power in Parliament and Cabinet, they added.
Walters, who described himself as a “hometown boy” from the constituency’s Fernihurst public housing enclave, would only confirm his interest in the riding by saying “yes, I am keen to make the political move to represent the people in the community I grew up in”.
When pressed, Walters revealed that he had already spoken with his employer and had expressed interest to some DLP members ahead of its last Sunday’s annual party conference.
Walters’s interest in the fractured political party comes at a time when it is undergoing a number of critical changes.
The party, which failed to capture a single seat in the general election – the worst electoral performance of a major party in Barbadian political history – saw its leader, former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart stepping down as political leader and president.
Stuart also revealed last Sunday that George Pilgrim has stepped down as General Secretary of the party.
Attorney-at-law Verla De Peiza is the new President of the DLP, while Guyson Mayers will take over as General Secretary.
Further compounding the 63-year-old party’s troubles are criminal liabilities facing ex-cabinet minister and former MP for St James South Donville Inniss, once seen by some as a possible contender for the position of party leader and a key role in reshaping the party.
Inniss has been charged by US federal prosecutors with laundering US$36,000, the proceeds of alleged bribes.