The National Democratic Party announced Monday that Myron Walwyn will run as an at-large candidate for the House of Assembly in the 2011 elections.
Party President and Opposition Leader Dr. Orlando Smith said that other candidates are still being chosen, and that Mr. Walwyn is a good example of “the new NDP,” shortly before pinning Mr. Walwyn with his official NDP lapel pin.
More than 100 NDP supporters attended the event at Treasure Isle Hotel, a business for which Mr. Walwyn served as manager after studying hospitality at Cornell University. Many in the crowd sported T-shirts with slogans like “With Myron We Win,” and cheered with plastic noisemakers.
In addition to Dr. Smith and Dr. Kedrick Pickering, who will both run for re-election to their current positions, the NDP had previously announced Mark Vanterpool as its Fourth District candidate, and Dr. Hubert O’Neal as its Ninth District candidate.
Dr. Smith said the party is in the process of choosing the rest of the candidates, adding that he and other party leaders will be looking for young people who can move the party in a new direction.
In the past, Dr. Smith said, the NDP failed to listen to the wishes of the people of the Virgin Islands.
“I promise you that we are wiser now, and are listening to you, and that we will continue to listen,” Dr. Smith told the crowd.
In his speech, Mr. Walwyn told the crowd that he knows he will have to make sacrifices to “answer the call” of serving in the HOA, but that he wants to work toward making the VI a place that fosters entrepreneurship.
Besides Dr. Smith and Mr. Walwyn, the crowd also heard speeches from Esther Potter, an NDP supporter, and Jelanie Christopher, a high school student and aspiring engineer. In his speech introducing Mr. Walwyn, Mr. Christopher urged politicians and voters to think of him and his peers as the VI heads into election season and beyond.
The crowd also watched a 20-minute film about Mr. Walwyn that featured interviews with past neighbours and colleagues from his various positions in the VI.
The film highlighted Mr. Walwyn’s childhood on Tortola and Antigua, and his various professional experiences: first as a manager of hotels and restaurants, then as an attorney and property developer. Mr. Walwyn also served as chairman of the BVI Tourist Board from January 2009 until his resignation in July.
The candidate did not take any questions after last week’s announcement.