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‘We knew the odds were against us’ – PEP President Natalio D. Wheatley

- said Party wanted a full slate
President of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru stated despite the fact that the party only managed to put together a slate of five candidates it pressed forward in the elections standing on its principles. Photo: Facebook
Wheatley said people wanted the PEP to come with a stronger slate of candidates as there were quite a few people who were not satisfied with either party (the National Democratic Party and the Virgin Islands Party) and they wanted an alternative. Photo: VINO/File
Wheatley said people wanted the PEP to come with a stronger slate of candidates as there were quite a few people who were not satisfied with either party (the National Democratic Party and the Virgin Islands Party) and they wanted an alternative. Photo: VINO/File
“The rush to register people could have resulted in some mistakes and it did result in not getting registered or not being able to change the district they were registered in. so I have more sympathy for the voters than I am concerned for the parties themselves,” Wheatley said. Photo: VINO
“The rush to register people could have resulted in some mistakes and it did result in not getting registered or not being able to change the district they were registered in. so I have more sympathy for the voters than I am concerned for the parties themselves,” Wheatley said. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – President of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru stated that, despite the fact the party only managed to put together a slate of five candidates, it pressed forward in the elections standing on its principles.

“I understood that we did not have a full slate of candidates and that the odds were against us. But there are certain principles that I wanted to stand up for and there were people who wanted me to run because of the fact that I represented some of the things that they cared about that were not being addressed,” he said, speaking with this news site last evening June 16, 2015.

According to Wheatley, people wanted the PEP to come with a stronger slate of candidates as there were quite a few people who were not satisfied with either party (the National Democratic Party and the Virgin Islands Party) and they wanted an alternative.

“I believe that if we had a full slate of candidates with some strong candidates they would have considered a third party. We still chose to go forward even though we did not have a full slate, to represent some of the principles we feel are important, in particular good governance, transparency, accountability and value for money that we think have been lacking for the past 16 to 20 years.”

The PEP President also said he believes the elections date should be a fixed one so that it cannot be used as a weapon or a strategic “chess piece”.

He added that his party wants the electorate to have the opportunity to register, hear all of the issues and to be able to make an informed choice.

Campaign finance transparency needed

“We need more transparency in campaign financing and campaign spending and it would be good if that information could be made available to the public,” he said.

Wheatley believes advertising played a major factor in the overwhelming victory of the NDP. “You would hope that the electorate can look past all the lavish spending but there was an absence of discussion of issues and I think in that absence of ideas and issues you might rely upon who had the best public relations and marketing and that cost money. So money does play a factor.”

He added that in some countries they are making changes to ensure that political parties who may not have a large donor base may still have a voice with the levelling of the playing field.

“Sometimes just because you have more money doesn’t mean you have the best interest of the territory at heart. Sometimes you can represent the small interest – the interest of the wealthy – and a lot of small people are left out,” he said.

Time was too short for the voters

Wheatley believes it is the people and not the political parties that suffered the most from the brevity of the election announcement. He noted that it was the Tuesday following the announcement of the election date at an NDP rally on May 6, 2015 that persons had to go into the elections office to register.

He noted that, according to the Supervisor of Elections Mrs Juliette Penn, some persons were disenfranchised and added that voters complained of being registered in a different district than the one they were from.

“The rush to register people could have resulted in some mistakes and it did result in persons not getting registered or not being able to change the district they were registered in. So I have more sympathy for the voters than I am concerned for the parties themselves,” he said.

No public debates

Sowande expressed disappointment in the fact that, unlike 2011, there were no public debates and this meant that statements made on the political platform went unchallenged. He said the party was ready and willing to debate its counterparts with a view to addressing the concerns voters might have had on issues and how parties proposed to address them.

24 Responses to “‘We knew the odds were against us’ – PEP President Natalio D. Wheatley”

  • Voter Too (17/06/2015, 07:51) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    I understand you very well sa but elections done and we all are now hurting from its effects
  • zzzzzz (17/06/2015, 09:22) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Pep go joint the vip
  • pat (17/06/2015, 10:20) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    keep sticking to the issues and voice your principles. It will help educate the public at what to ask of the reigning government. Hold their feet to the fire. thank you for running.
  • Road Town Resident (17/06/2015, 10:25) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Good Article. Keep Pushing.
  • Comment (17/06/2015, 11:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    What can we the voters do to help you fit?
    • ++++ (17/06/2015, 16:55) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      think outside the box and understand the issues.
      • @++++ (18/06/2015, 10:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Can we get a petition started? I read the article about the man on the talk show that spoke out about the bribery matter. We really want your voices heard about this issue.
  • jokes (17/06/2015, 11:27) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    What happen to Alvin? He cant even thank the voters that voted for him for 20+ years
    • Stupes (17/06/2015, 13:41) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Alvin thanked and express his gratitude to the second district at every rally held in the district. Also did it via his radio and online ad campaigns. Its like you want the man go to every house and personally thank every man, woman and child within it.
    • @jokes (17/06/2015, 13:53) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      He had a death in the family!
  • voter (17/06/2015, 13:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    If people like you stopped looking out for good governance in this land the nation will be lost to greed and corruption. Democracy would be a thing of the past and the devil would win the battle against good and evil. God will help you guys cause you all are on his team, keep fighting and let us know what we can do to help in this battle.

    15Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.… 2 Kings 6:15-17
  • 555 (17/06/2015, 15:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Too late shall be your cry..why ayo did not stick with vip?
  • Taylor (17/06/2015, 15:39) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Donot be afraid god is on his throne NDp did all in theri power to win the election but god is not sleeping only time will tell this is the time for you to regroup and get things going also the vip team give the Ndp the first 100 years and you will see it has already begin the biras crek and oil nut man people are do foolish this was in the making it was to happen before election but pick advise them after election boy this place gone to the dogs but NDp better shine because Education mininis will soon tear up Narutal resources man stated tuned as for lvin do not give up the faith things will come around again please Lord you will twke of NDp sooner rather than later They want to bring down fraser by saying and doing all kind of things but he will rise again FRASER WILL BE THE PERSON GOD IS GOING TO CALL TH SAVE THIS GREAT LITTLE NATION AND ALVIN AND ANDREW WILL BE RIGHT BEHIND HIM TO HELP THE WICKED CAN ONLY RULE FOR A TIME SO FRASER< ALVIN AND ANDREW HOLD OUT.
    • @ Taylor (18/06/2015, 18:23) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      you must be smoking a joint.....lolol lmaoooo in your darn dreams.
  • Election Well Done! (17/06/2015, 16:31) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone knows this was a bought election democracy was greatly compromised and greed ruled, you all are our true leaders, and many of us have concluded that we want no other to represent us and your values. We will stand on GOD's side this election year!
    • @ Election Well Done (18/06/2015, 18:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Are you serious? Bought our from bribery? I have yet to receive my check...Do you really think based on the landslided victory that NDP bribed voters? you guys really need to learn how to take a loss and get moving on with your life. The voters have clearly spoken. Yall does really come online and talk pure rubbish and its embarrassing to the country.
      • @ @Election Well Done (19/06/2015, 21:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Greed is not always determined by a check. It hides in the heart and feeds on the soul. That is why God measures people from the heart.
  • voter (17/06/2015, 16:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all do not need to purchase power and authority..God will give it you freely. If you stay in his ways. Watch Him work for you now!
  • Bright future (17/06/2015, 16:42) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stay with it Sowande,---put Alvin to rest, make him president of PEP congress...Start building from now--the future looks bright for you and PEP
  • GET OVER YOURSELVES PEOPLE (18/06/2015, 18:27) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    LOOK.....I'm sick and tired of hearing the cries about elections.....ITS OVER.....NDP WON.....GROW UP AND GET OVER IT!!!!! JEEZE!
    • really?? (19/06/2015, 21:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      NDP bribed their way to leadership, God is not done with them yet...nor are the honest God fearing voters in this country.


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