A cold reception
In St. Michael North West:
At Ellerslie Secondary School, incumbent Chris Sinckler came with a music truck and a large entourage to his nomination, but the students gave him a cold reception, they booed him. But in an interview after completing the process, the Minister of Finance took everything in stride assuring his supporters that he was satisfied and that everything was going very well.
“Everything is coming together as we planned. From here starts the remaining 14 days to Election Day. We are pretty much on track. So we are not worried; we are not over confident, but we are confident within ourselves that the record that we have in this constituency is outstanding and so it commends itself to the voters.
“The feeling is very positive. We are comfortable. We are a welcoming community. We have some strangers among us, we will feed them and then send them away. Home drums beat first,” Sinckler added. (NC)† †††
In St. Peter:
Democratic Labour Party candidate for St. Peter, Haynesley Benn was confident of an even bigger swing towards him this election.
“I have a big fish to fry. Not the biggest this time, he was the biggest last time. The fish has been reduced in size and is able to hold into my pan. I have the fish under control,” he said in reference to his cousin Opposition Leader Owen Arthur.
Benn, who was nominated in about an hour this morning at the Roland Edwards Primary School in Little Battaleys, laughed as he admitted that despite his delay initiated by a small misplacement of his nomination deposit receipt, he was confident of winning this seat.
He had arrived early for his nomination, chatting with Returning Officer Roger Small and Election Clerk, Keith Headley at the door to the room assigned at the school, while his supporters with their placards fanned out behind him. After Small declared nominations opened at 10 a.m., Benn entered the hall with his entourage, but soon realised he had left his receipt behind and volunteered, despite similar offers from members of his team, to fetch it himself.
He later maintained however that it was, “God’s way of saying be patient”. (LB)
In St. George North:
First time candidate Jepter Ince handed in his nomination papers on a ruling Democratic Labour Party ticket, with expectations of a tough campaign, but feelings of comfort in his chances of victory in St. George North.
It was reminiscent of a protest march, when Ince and his 50 member entourage, which arrived 10 minutes before the 10 a.m. official opening of the centre, were the first to turn up decked in the party colour of yellow, displaying placards and banners and singing and shouting songs of solidarity.
It took just 22 minutes for the nomination process to be completed, after the House of Assembly hopeful was proposed by Haddesh Conliff and seconded by Michael Williams in the presence of Returning Officer Winston Estwick, Election Clerk, Malcolm Wood and Electoral Officer, Linda Phillips.
Inside the nomination centre, Ince’s supporters sat in every available chair and waited for him to finish the paper work. Once the Returning Officer had shook hands and congratulated the DLP St. George North candidate, a loud chorus of “he’s a jolly good fellow” went up. The Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office and former senator told reporters afterwards he was looking forward to identifying the technical and academic skills of the constituents and examine the commercial viability of St. George North. (EJ)††
In St. Michael North East:
About half hour after Mia Mottley left the nomination centre at this afternoon, her Democratic Labour Party opponent Patricia Inniss turned up with a group of some 15 supporters dressed in party colours and bearing posters of Inniss’ image. She took a moment out, though, to form a circle with her followers to say a brief word of prayer, prior to handing in her papers.
The DLP candidate spent about half hour going through the nomination procedure with the help of proposer Michelle Brathwaite, seconder Keith Scott and assenters Natalie Wood and Theola Cadogan, and supervised by Returning Officer Gwendoline Bridgeman-Bushell and her two staffers.
A police officer stood vigil and the Acting Principal of St. Matthew’s Primary Deborah Waithe-Jones also kept a close eye on proceedings, while her exuberant pupils drew close to the centre to observe and learn how the democratic process worked.
Inniss told the media afterwards: “I want to thank all of the hundreds of people, really thousands, because there were more than 2,000 that are supporting me and continue to support me in St. Michael North East. This is going to be one exciting campaign, we are all geared up, and we are going for success”. (EJ)
In the City of Bridgetown:
At the Bethel Methodist Church’s Donald Henry Auditorium, incumbent Patrick Todd was in an upbeat mood. When Returning Officer for the City of Bridgetown, Gloria Medford, announces the winner of the election in that constituency on the night of February 21 expect to hear the name Patrick Todd. The Democratic Labour Party candidate, who was MP for the area between 2008 and the recent dissolution of the Parliament said he believed the people of the island’s capital would return him to the House of Assembly. He spoke in the affirmative after one o’clock this afternoon when he signed and handed in his nomination papers to Medford and Election Clerk Victor Agard at the Bethel Methodist Church’s Donald Henry Auditorium on Bay Street. Todd, who is seeking to repeat his 2008 defeat of the Barbados Labour Party’s Jeffrey Bostic next month, was nominated by Decourcey Headley and seconded by Salim Patel. The official witnesses were Tanya Marshall and Michael Sobers, but the DLP candidate’s nomination was also witnessed by a contingent of supporters carrying placards and chanting as they walked with him from his Reed Street constituency to the nomination centre. Todd told the media that he looked forward to returning to the Lower House of City MP. “It is a work in progress, I see the elections as the transition from phase one into phase two of the transformation of the City of Bridgetown on behalf of the people of Bridgetown by the Democratic Labour Party administration,” he said. “We work as a family together, ensuring that the alienable rights of each member of the City is respected by the society as a whole, without stigmatisation, profiling or the marginalisation of working class Barbadians.” “I pledge to continue to insist that they are given equal opportunity to participate in the development of our country and I pledge that this Democratic Labour Party administration will adopt this approach of equal opportunity for one and all in the country.” (SC)