Democratic Labour Party (DLP) presidential candidate Guy Hewitt says that a voice note he issued on Saturday to members of the DLP was intended to quell rumours that he was seeking the presidency because he didn’t get the nomination for St John.
Hewitt called the suggestions absurd and added: “I have not sought a constituency because I am unable to support Comrade DePeiza as the leader of the DLP. I am aware, as many in the party and much of the country are aware, she does not possess the competencies to successfully lead us to victory. The by-election in St George North said it all,” he told Barbados TODAY.
In addition, Hewitt advised that he had personally assured Andre Worrell, the candidate for St John, that he had “no commitments for any constituency at the moment.” His only concern right now with the list of candidates was “the lack of a critical mass of females”.
Hewitt conveyed his disappointment that the contest for the presidency seemed to be getting “murky”. He was also critical of the State-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation which he said not “unsurprisingly” turned up at his launch event on Friday at Hilton Barbados after it had finished.
Hewitt spoke to a desire for the DLP’s leadership contest not to get personal. “As someone who has worked as a gender specialist for many years and attended the UN Conference on Women, I have been keen to ensure that there is nothing personal being said or done by those supporting me,” he said.
Hewitt stressed that while he is challenging for the presidency he still considers Verla DePeiza to be a “comrade and friend”. Hewitt pointed out that he has sought to engage Denis Kellman towards ensuring her victory in St Lucy. He noted that he told DePeiza that he “wanted her to be a success in politics…to win St Lucy” but feared as “many close to her do” that “trying to win St Lucy and lead a party to an election victory may be more that she can manage.”
At his launch on Friday, Hewitt used the opportunity to publicly commend DePeiza for taking the reins of the party after the catastrophic 2018 defeat at the polls. However, he also emphasised that “at this juncture there is a need for the DLP to be much more effective in projecting its vision, policies and leadership role to the electorate and mobilise the resources needed to win elections and ultimately form a government.”
Hewitt told Barbados TODAY that attempts by political commentators and sections of the media to link him to the past policies of the DLP administration were a stretch.“I was a high commissioner and Comrade DePeiza was a senator. My role was representational not policy making.”
However, he noted at the launch he did apologise on behalf of the DLP “for what we may have done or those things that we failed to do.”
Hewitt said that in 2018 when the Dems were routed at the polls, “there was a sense among our populace that we were no longer for the people and they voted for the first time as a single constituency against the DLP.”
He emphasised: “While I had no part in this, as the prospective future leader, I ask the people of Barbados to join me in a process of reconciliation.”
Asked about those who professed to “love him” but dismissed his political aspirations, he suggested that they were “incentivised” and noted that both in scripture and literature, specifically Julius Caesar, it was those who professed love like Judas and Brutus that betrayed themselves.