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Exclusive: Inside the NDP's June 23, 2018 convention meeting

Prior to voting, there was the nomination process which saw party co founder, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton, being put forward by former Legislator and NDP spokeswomen, Eileene L. Parsons OBE. Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, was nominated by Alford Brewley. Photo: VINO/File
Two term legislator and Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (left) and new comer, Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull—the representative for district two, Photo: VINO/File
Two term legislator and Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (left) and new comer, Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull—the representative for district two, Photo: VINO/File
Presentation of a token of appreciation to Mrs Lorna G. Smith at the NDP Convention. Photo: Provided
Presentation of a token of appreciation to Mrs Lorna G. Smith at the NDP Convention. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - It was Saturday June 23, 2018, that the National Democratic Party (NDP) held its Convention, with 119 Delegates coming out at the Treasure Isle Hotel’s dining room.

It appears the air conditioning in the dining room was not working at the time, so the windows were left opened.  

At the venue’s entrance—the bottom of the steps to be precise—Delegates were met by security, along with a NDP Committee member, to ensure their names appeared on the Delegate List.

Having reached the top—next to the Treasure Isle dining room—mobile phones were taken away from all Delegates, including elected members, as they made their way into the room for the Convention meeting.

The big meeting

The meeting was presided over by then NDP Chairman, Mr Troy E. Christopher. That title has since been changed to President.

There were two main agenda items, election of officers and resolutions for approval.

As the meeting got underway sometime around 6:40 PM, one of the first matters raised was the question of the voting order for officers—whether this would start from top down, or bottom up.

Ms Ayana S. Hull, served the night as the party’s Legal Counsel and also chaired the resolution section.

In her presentation on the question of the voting order –that is, whether to start from the top post of President or the bottom post of Chairman of the Youth Movement, Ms Hull informed the group of the pros and cons.

According to information obtained from members inside the room, Ms Hull stated that it may not be fair to start from the top—meaning the President’s position first—because the person losing would then have the opportunity to be nominated from the floor to be the Vice President (VP).

Voting started from bottom up

This, according to her, would place the two officers already nominated for ‘Vice President’ at a disadvantage, having already campaigned for the post.

However, on the flip side, it also gives the party the chance of getting the best candidates, she reasoned.

The matter was put to a vote and Delegates opted to conduct the election from the bottom—starting with the post of Chairman Youth Movement first.

The election of the officers was presided over by Ms Yvonne Crabbe. 

 Several posts however, were not contested, such as Chairman of the Youth Movement, Chaplain and Deputy Treasurer.

Prior to voting,  there was the  nominations process which saw party co founder,  Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton, being put forward by former Legislator and NDP spokeswomen, Eileene L. Parsons OBE.

Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, was nominated by Alford Brewley. 

While many delegates were focused on the election for the two top positions—that of Vice President and President—the election for the post of Treasurer, created some excitement, as it was so close.

Honourable Archibald C. Christian ended up being declared the winner, beating out former Legislator and Minister for Education and Culture, Lloyd K. Black, by just four votes.

It was now getting late—after 9:00 PM. Delegates from Virgin Gorda had begun to express concerns over the ferry to return to Virgin Gorda.

And the winner is….

The final vote of the night was for President. Hon Skelton in his presentation ahead of that vote, spoke to his experience and putting “people and Virgin Islanders first,” while warning about the rough road ahead.

Hon Walwyn, who spoke after the veteran politician, said he is offering himself for service, telling Delegates, if they trust him with their children, they can trust him with the country. He too, spoke to his experiences as a businessman and his legal background.

Tension in the room had reached an all time high when it came time to vote. Delegates were all seated, and as one person said to our news room, “some of these people, I have never seen to an NDP rally… did not even know they supported the party.”

Immediately after the winner—Hon Walwyn—was announced, many delegates appeared to be in shock, with some walking out.  

One person exclaimed “it was mostly a handful of Ronnie supporters walking out, while others just left because of the long night or to catch the boat”.

There was no recount conducted despite reports of that happening, as the process appeared to be smooth and professionally conducted.

Hon Walwyn at the end of the evening gave an acceptance speech thanking delegates, and offered a proverbial ‘olive branch’ saying, “…if there is someone who is better at Finance, or any area then let us find ways to use them.”    

 

11 Responses to “Exclusive: Inside the NDP's June 23, 2018 convention meeting ”

  • ABC (25/06/2018, 17:20) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Vino you all too much
  • ... (25/06/2018, 17:37) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ms. P power is gone! my oh my she could not save Ronnie this time or even get him to be Minister of Finance
  • Rubber Duck (25/06/2018, 17:47) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    VINO ayo too much right up in the people them cool aid. You all good boss Long Live VINO
  • Rainbow Flag (25/06/2018, 19:46) Like (26) Dislike (12) Reply
    The real news is not out as yet.
    Trust him with children he say????
    When the San Juan Hotel news come to light alyo will hear the news.

    Party Done!
    • What! (25/06/2018, 21:15) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      Now you got to talk the thing! Even in codes haha hehe so a fool could understand.
    • Jaigon Jumbie (26/06/2018, 06:00) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Rainbow Flag. We are patiently waiting for that news to break, bring it out please.
  • Truth Sayer (25/06/2018, 21:47) Like (13) Dislike (10) Reply

    Myron is too bold face. What olive branch can he offer when he went about this internal in such a nasty way spreading propaganda about...! He should be ashamed of himself to stoop to such a low level.

    • Hmmm (26/06/2018, 06:36) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
      Truth Sayer...tell us the public what nasty way he campaigned. Tell us what the propagandas that was spreading. C'mon man...live up to your name.
  • BRAD BOYNES (26/06/2018, 11:04) Like (19) Dislike (17) Reply
    WALWYN
    CANNOT
    BE
    TRUSTED.


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