Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said he will remain in representational politics despite his intention to not seek re-election as the leader of the National Democratic Party come Saturday, June 23.
Dr Smith made the statement at a press conference on Thursday.
“I am not retiring, I am [just] not seeking the leadership,” he said.
According to Dr Smith, the time was ripe for a fresh NDP leader; noting he has been leading the party for the past 20 years.
The 73-year-old said he opted out of the race for NDP leader after ‘much thought and prayer’ and after discussions with family and colleagues.
All contenders are qualified
While he did not openly endorse any of the two publicly named contenders – Health Minister Ronnie Skelton and Education Minister Walwyn Walwyn – Dr Smith said both are qualified for the job.
“I think all of those vying for the leadership – those you mentioned (Skelton and Walwyn) and maybe more because the nomination will take place on the floor – I think they are all qualified and they have been with the party for a long time.”
Meanwhile, residents will have to wait a bit longer to see whether Premier Smith will be contesting the 2019 General Election, which he said may be called sooner than anticipated.
“The upcoming general election is a distance away and I am not sure when that will be.”
“And, right now, we are focusing on having this process of having a new leader selected for the party. And my mind will be focused on the continued development of the country particularly on the recovery,” the Premier said
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