PM: Dr. Slater was my pick for Prime Minister
April 16, 2010
PM: Dr. Slater was my pick for Prime Minister

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves once had hopes that he would have been succeeded by Minister of Health and Environment Dr. Douglas Slater.{{more}}

“The man I wanted to succeed me going into the next elections was this man,” said Gonsalves, pointing at Slater who was seated on his right, at a news conference held at the main administrative building on Monday, April 12, 2010.

In his Cabinet, Gonsalves said Slater is his “favoured son”.

Gonsalves noted amidst Slater’s brilliance, integrity, grasp of policy and his commitment to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, it must be acknowledged that not everyone is a natural politician.

“In the job too you need a set of political skills. Is either you born with them or develop them. Not everybody has those,” said Gonsalves.

The Prime Minister said over the next five years he would embark on a political project to realise the dream of helping to guide the next generation of Unity Labour Party (ULP) leaders such as Rhodes’ Scholar Luke Browne and Senator Cecil ‘Ces’ McKie.

Slater, a medical doctor, first entered the political scene in 1998, when he unsuccessfully contested the South Leeward seat for the ULP against encumbent Jeremiah Scott of the New Democratic Party, who had held the seat for 14 years up to that point. Scott narrowly beat him by 2,117 votes to 2,104.

Slater’s luck was to change in 2001, when he romped home, beating Scott 2,614 votes to 2,244. He was again victorious in 2005, defeating the NDP’S Nigel ‘Nature’ Stephenson by 2,318 votes to 2,203.

It is widely speculated that Slater will make way for a new candidate for the ULP when the General Elections are called in the next few months.