Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Founding member of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering is the one who opted not to run under the party at the next general election, according to its Chairman Hon. Myron Walwyn. Further, he said that this move was mainly because he (Walwyn) became leader of the party.
“I can only say that it is unfortunate that because of the results of the internal election this happened. It raises the question to me whether or not the interest is the country or it’s just personal ambition. That is bothering me,” Hon. Walwyn told BVI Platinum News today, Friday, January 11.
When asked whether he believes it was fueled by Pickering’s issue with him becoming Chairman, Walwyn said, “That is the only logical conclusion that I can come to and it is quite unfortunate.”
Dr Pickering, who has been Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour under the NDP for both consecutive terms, has been a loyal member for over two decades.
It is a known fact that along with Premier Hon. Dr D. Orlando Smith, another founding member-they both fought for the party. After a major defeat at the 2007 polls, they were the only two members of the Opposition.
Dr Pickering, who has been the Seventh District Representative for five consecutive terms, has repeatedly showed his support for Dr Smith publicly. He said that when persons thought that the party was dead, they showed up to the House of Assembly and did their work.
It is not clear if Dr Pickering will be running independent or with Progressive Virgin Islands Movement, (PVIM), a breakaway from NDP headed by another NDP former founding member, Hon. Ronnie Skelton or Hon. Julian Fraser’s Progressives United (PU).
When approached today, Dr Pickering refused to comment.
Meanwhile, Hon. Walwyn went on to state that after the internal elections where he went up against Hon. Skelton, several attempt were made to reach out to members who were disgruntled including Dr Pickering.
He said that he was unable to meet with Dr Pickering.
“We tried to move the party forward and we had to establish certain deadlines by which certain individuals would say whether they were running with the party or not, Dr Pickering did not respond to anything. We still kept members in the group at general meetings even though we did not know whether they were running with the party or not,” he explained.
Walwyn continued, “so it’s not that the party did not do all it can…I also sent individual messages to them and they received it…It was the decision on (his) part to leave, we did everything in the party and as chairman my conscience is clear.”
He however, said that they appreciate the work done by Dr Pickering while in the party.
Premier Smith was also asked about Dr Pickering not being on the NDP slate. He said that organizations restructure from time to time.
“It doesn’t mean everybody who is there (will remain. For example, Minster (Mark) Vanteprool at one point said that he was not running again,” Dr Smith said.
Hipolitio Penn is NDP’s candidate for the Seventh District.