New NDP North Central Windward candidate shaky
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November 19, 2010
New NDP North Central Windward candidate shaky

The New Democratic Party (NDP) should have made a decision yesterday,Thursday, November 18, about if the party would need to look for someone new to contest the North Central Windward (NCW) seat.{{more}}

At press time, on Wednesday November 17, a top official of the NDP was unable to say if Margaret London will in fact contest the seat, in a race which will pit her against Prime Minister and Political Leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

On Wednesday evening, SEARCHLIGHT caught up with General Secretary of the NDP Allan Cruickshank, at a political meeting of the party at Top Questelles in the South Leeward constituency.

Cruickshank indicated that he was not in a position to say whether London had bowed out of the race.

“The matter is being addressed; her candidacy is being re-evaluated,” Cruickshank said.

“Right now our lawyers are looking into it and I will not get an official report until tomorrow (Thursday, November 18).”

“Until an official report is given to me as General Secretary, there is nothing more I can say on the matter.”

The General Secretary noted that the matter surrounding London’s candidacy was a ‘personal and legal affair’ that needs to be ‘sorted out’ before anything could be said in public.

London, a Registered Nurse and former lecturer at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines School of Nursing, replaced Cameron ‘Dinky’ Balcombe as the NDP candidate for North Central Windward, after Balcombe resigned under pressure.

Balcombe stepped aside in September, following protests by individuals from the constituency.

London scored an overwhelming victory over Ingrid Punnett and Shimron Daniel at the NDP North Central Windward Constituency Council meeting which took place on Thursday, October 14, less than one month after Balcombe’s withdrawal.

When asked if the apparent hiccup could hinder the party’s campaign, Cruickshank said that it was too soon to say.

“After the matter is resolved, a strong campaign depends on the candidate”, he said.

“I am currently speaking to the Deputy Chairman (of the NCW Constituency) on the matter.”

According to Cruickshank, a former parliamentarian, the matter has caused some ‘problems’ for the party.

He said that the political meeting which was taking place in South Leeward that night, had replaced what was supposed to be the official launch of London’s campaign in Georgetown.

He said, however, the overall campaign was going satisfactorily, and that the party is ready for the December polls.

Whatever the case, a decision about who will run in NCW for the NDP will have to be made by November 26, Nominations Day. Elections Day is December 13, 2010.

Prime Minister Gonsalves first won the NCW seat in 1994 after defeating Vin Abbott of the NDP. In 1998 he defeated Nolwyn McDowall; Lloyd Latham in 2001 and in 2005, Cameron “Dinky” Balcombe, all of whom ran for the NDP.