Barbadians could start seeing the newest faces of Democratic Labour Party (DLP) representation within months, party President Verla DePeiza has promised.
However, while numerous constituency branches have reportedly expressed interest in Depeiza’s representation and rumors have been swirling about whether she would opt to run in one of the party’s traditional strongholds, the former Government Senator says her decision has not yet been made.
Depeiza told Barbados TODAY the party’s candidate selection process is now in full swing, a year and two months after the party was ousted inall 30 constituencies in favour of the current Barbados Labour Party BLP Government.
The DLP leader however stressed the process would still take some time before it is completed.
“Some people have put their names forward for more than one constituency, which makes sense if you haven’t been successful in one… and it also allows us some flexibility as we decide who would best fit each area.
“Hopefully by the end of this year, we will have some candidates in place,” she said.
Party regulations mandate that interested party members apply to the specific branches for vetting after which the branch would forward as many as two names for the executive and general council to examine and decide who the candidate should be.
Political Scientist Peter Wickham on national radio expressed his view that Depeiza should take her talents to the constituency once held by the country’s first Prime Minister and DLP stalwart, Errol Barrow in St John. He was responding to reports on Starcom Network’s Down to Brass Tacks that DePeiza was most interested in the St Lucy constituency.
The reality is that I know about politics… and it is because I like Verla that I wouldn’t want her in St Lucy. If you want to preserve her for the battle long-term, send her to St. John,” Wickham said.
When asked if she was eyeing any particular constituency, DePeiza said: “Not yet. All of that is in the works at the moment. More than one has asked me, but I have not said yes to any and also the same process as everyone else has to go through applies to me. I am not making any distinction where I am concerned.
“Peter [Wickham] has never hidden his opinion that I should have been in St. John ever since and he has been very consistent that he thinks I should be in St. John… but that is still a work in progress,” she said.
Depeiza also revealed the party has started its strategic plans for the coming years “in theory”.
“Obviously I’m not going to tell you our secrets but a major lesson learned is that people have to be onboard with whatever you’re doing. Whatever your policies are and whatever position you wish to bring forward, we have to remember that we are representing the people and therefore we have to maintain a constant rapport with the people.
“We have to be focused going forward on having those conversations going both ways, where we are throwing ideas out and also accepting ideas from all quarters and you will notice that we have not relied only on party faithful when it comes to lunchtime lectures and giving talks and things of that nature. The whole point is to canvass ideas as widely as possible so that we can crystalize positions to put the people first,” she told Barbados TODAY.
On the level of togetherness within the party at present, she said: “I don’t think any party can ever claim total cohesiveness and togetherness because it goes against the grain of democracy. I’m never expecting that, but the commitment to rebuilding the party is consistent across the board. We may have differing opinions on how, but the need to do it is not in dispute at all.”