By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Myron Walwyn has dismissed speculations that he is throwing his proverbial hat in the ring for the upcoming by-election in the Fourth Electoral District.
Walwyn was not re-elected because he failed to secure sufficient votes as a Territorial At-Large candidate in the recently-concluded general elections.
But, following the sudden resignation of NDP legislator Mark Vanterpool, rumours began circulating that the NDP leader would attempt to carve his way back into public office by contesting the now-vacant Fourth District seat.
“This is ridiculous. I am saying no and the thought never crossed my mind,” Walwyn told BVI News on Thursday.
He also said the party’s executive members have not yet discussed who they will field for the by-election considering Vanterpool’s resignation ‘just happened the other day’.
“The party will make an announcement at the appropriate time,” Walwyn said.
PVIM also contesting by-election
Meanwhile, campaign manager for the Progressive Virgin islands Movement (PVIM) Dr Michael Turnbull said the party will have a candidate in the upcoming race.
“The PVIM is not a one-election movement. It is a movement that is here to stay and plans to be involved in the future of the country. And, as such, this is an opportunity where we can be involved and feel we can be a contributor to allow people to make a choice. So, we plan whenever it is announced to offer the people the opportunity to do so through a candidate,” he said.
When asked about Karl Scatliffe who was the PVIM’s Fourth District candidate at the 2019 General Elections, Dr Turnbull said he was unable to provide an answer.
He said the PVIM’s constitution outlines the requirements to select a candidate and ‘does not exclude anyone’.
He said the party is simply following the rules and ‘give everyone the opportunity’.
He further said the PVIM is set to meet soon and the matter of who will contest the by-election will be on its agenda.
Dr Turnbull said the party has learnt vital lessons from the general election.
“We have all had debriefings … we have listened to some of the feedback from the people, and we plan to incorporate them as we continue to build our movement,” he said.
PU considering to run
Chairman of the Progressives United (PU) Julian Fraser who spoke to our news centre on Wednesday said the party may have a candidate in the by-election.
“We are still in the very early stages of discussing that matter, and it is something that we will consider,” he said.
Fraser said the PU is likely to have a clear indication as to the way forward by the weekend.
Dr Vincent Scatliffe was PU’s candidate for the Fourth District in the recent general election. He garnered 24 votes.
The VIP’s intentions
BVI News also sought out Virgin Islands Party Chairman, Premier Andrew Fahie whose only comment was: “Congress of the VIP will confirm shortly.”
Luce Hodge Smith who ran under the VIP banner secured 385 votes, representing the second highest number of votes garnered in District 4. The now-resigned Vanterpool brought home the win with 442 votes.
Governor Augustus Jaspert is yet to appoint a date for the by-election which, according to law, must be held within two months of a representative relinquishing the post.
Vanterpool announced his resignation on March 5.