On Saturday night, National Democratic Party delegates voted for Education and Culture Minister Myron Walwyn to become the political organisation’s new president.
Mr. Walwyn (R-at large) is the party’s first new president since its inception in 1999. The role had previously always been held by Premier Dr. Orlando Smith (R-at large), who chose to not to run again in Saturday’s intraparty election.
In the presidential race, Mr. Walwyn defeated Health and Social Development Minister Ronnie Skelton (R-at large) by a delegate vote of 68-51.
Mr. Walwyn’s running mate, Marlon Penn (R-D8), the junior minister for trade and investment promotion, defeated Second District Representative Mitch Turnbull — Mr. Skelton’s running mate — by a vote of 69-50.
Party delegates also voted to switch the titles of Messrs. Walwyn and Penn’s new positions with those of Chairman Troy Christopher and Deputy Chairman Dr. Michael Turnbull, respectively.
The switch — which wouldn’t have any impact on the actual roles — is a formality designed “to get in conjunction with other party organisations around the world,” explained Dr. Turnbull, who is now the vice president.
Messrs. Walwyn and Penn are likely to serve in the roles of premier and deputy premier, respectively, should the NDP win the next general election — though that is not certain.
Dr. Turnbull noted last week that the president and vice president positions — now chairman and deputy chairman — don’t necessarily dictate the makeup of a potential government.
Dr. Smith has also been unclear about his intentions for the upcoming general election, which will happen no later than next August.
In a broadcasted statement last Monday, Dr. Smith (R-at large) explained that his decision not to run for the presidency would mean a change in standard-bearer for the NDP at the next general election.
“And while my journey as the premier and leader of the territory will come to a close at the end of this government’s term in office, the mission that was launched so many years ago lives on,” he said.
At a press conference two days later, however, the premier told reporters that he hadn’t yet made a decision about whether he would contest the general election or not, despite his choice not to run again for the party presidency.
See June 28, 2018 edition for full coverage.
NDP election totals
|Mr. Ronnie W. Skelton||51|
|Mr. Myron V. Walwyn||68|
|Mr. Marlon A. Penn||69|
|Mr. Melvin M. Turnbull||50|
|Ms. Bernadette Braithwaite||45|
|Ms. Yvonne Crabbe||70|
|Ms. Christine Stapleton||31|
|Ms. Messina Vanterpool||83|
|Mr. Lloyd Black||55|
|Mr. Archibald Christian||59|
|Mr. Dion Crabbe||non-contested|
|Mr. Melvin Turnbull||non-contested|
|Chairman – Youth Movement||Results|
|Mr. Kevin Fahie||non-contested|
|Chairperson – Women’s Association||Results|
|Ms. Shaina M. Smith||non-contested|
|Source: NDP Convention Committee|