The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) used a “transparent and democratic” process to select their candidate for the upcoming by-election in St George North.
President of the party, Verla DePeiza, who threw her full weight behind Floyd Reifer, told those taking in the official launch of his candidacy on Sunday night that the DLP was not going to foist anyone on either the branch or constituency.
“Even though this by-election was called at short notice, we in the Democratic Labour Party thought it important that we follow our usual procedure, because it was put in place to make sure that you, the ordinary people of our party, have a say in who represents you, and that makes perfect sense,” she said at the political meeting at the Glebe, St George.
“Why should you have a representative foisted on you? And even though we were in the middle of our annual conference and our councils were not constituted, as soon as the annual conference was over we got down to the business of choosing our candidate. We did it as transparently and as democratically as we could.”
Her comments came against the background of claims that Prime Minister Mia Mottley had handpicked independent Senator Toni Moore to be the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate in next month’s by-election.
The DLP leader said the people of St George North and the DLP branch had proposed the same two potential candidates.
“Part of the exercise was to tap St George North itself, ’cause the branch may not have it right. And as we walked across this constituency, touching down at various points, we kept hearing the same two names – if it can’t be one let it be the other. Funny enough, when the branch did their deliberations they had come to a similar conclusion, which made the task of the councils easy,” DePeiza said.
She added that she was extremely impressed by Reifer’s commitment to the constituency.
“We wanted to be certain, so we called them [the candidates]. When we called and started to interrogate Floyd – the man that they say can’t talk – when asked about St George North, waxed lyrical for about ten minutes. The man they say can’t talk. I was left with the firm impression that St George North had birthed a gem, that St George North had a son of the soil who was committed to the causes of his people.”
The president explained that while the cricketer did leave the country, he had done so representing Barbados and the West Indies.
“And yes, he left Barbados for a period of time as he developed himself and he supported his family. But, clearly, St George North remained in his mind. When you think about it, he has given up the possibility of an international career as a coach to represent you. And when you weigh that alongside what, if anything, his opponent is giving up then you have all of the ammunition that you need on the 11th of November to walk boldly and confidently into your polling box and mark your ‘X’ for Floyd Reifer,” DePeiza said.
She added that the DLP candidate had shown that he has what it takes.
“For him and for us, it really was a question of leadership. You don’t have to be boisterous and bombastic to lead people. You don’t have to be a bully to lead people. You don’t have to be constantly upfront and pushing yourself and name in everything to lead people. The hallmark of a good leader is to pick a situation that is dire and make a hand of it.
“And I don’t have to tell you about that low period in West Indies cricket history when Floyd Reifer picked up what the media was calling a ragtag team and carried them overseas and performed creditably. That is the hallmark of leadership. You don’t have to shout down the place, you just get on with it,” the party leader contended. (IMC)