The new leadership of the National Democratic Party (NDP) is discrediting claims the party is or will become divided because of the results of the internal elections held on Saturday, June 23.
Myron Walwyn defeated Ronnie Skelton in the race for party president while Marlon Penn defeated Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull in the vice-presidential race.
Leading up to the political showdown, it was rumoured the party would not remain whole because the losing candidates had secret intentions of breaking away from the party.
But, coming out of the election, both Walwyn and his reported running mate, Penn, sought to put an end to those claims.
Asked whether he suspects his victory will cause a rift in the party, Walwyn said: “I really don’t [think so] and I hope that is not the case because if we truly love our country and we truly love our party, we’ll find a way to work together. It’s not about individuals, it is about the country.”
“I have an amazing amount of respect for Honourable Skelton and I’m going to need his tutelage, and I’m going to need to work along with him if we’re successful at the polls in 2019.”
When similar questions were put to the party’s newly-elected second-in-command, Penn said the four candidates who vied for the top two positions pledged they would continue to work together; moving forward.
He said they made the pledge on Saturday – election night.
“We made a pledge to the entire delegates that we have to work together despite our differences during the election process,” Penn said.
Truth to that pledge was evidenced by a defeated Turnbull who issued a statement after Saturday’s elections. He congratulated the victors and said he ‘respects the decision’ of the NDP delegates.
On the other hand, no such statement seemingly has been forthcoming from Skelton.
Title swap approved
During the NDP event, delegates also approved the exchange of titles but not roles of the President, Vice-President, Chairman, and Deputy Chairman. This move was made so the party could align with current international standards, the NDP said.
With the exchange, Walwyn’s title is now ‘NDP Chairman’ (party leader/highest ranked NDP official), and Penn is now the ‘Deputy Chairman’. Troy Christopher, therefore, inherits the title of ‘President’ (official chosen to govern or preside over internal party affairs) while Michael Turnbull inherits the title of ‘Vice President’.
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