Former chief minister and recently ousted leader of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Derek Taylor, has now publicly asserted that, despite losing the leadership of his party after only eight months in office, he has the right to run in November’s general elections as a PDM “at large” candidate.
There is wide concern in both parties that “at large” candidates could cause last minute party leadership shuffles if party leaders fail to obtain as many votes as other party candidates.
It appears mathematically possible that even some consistency candidates could overcome party “at large” candidates as well.
Taylor said that “accommodation and accountability” are his strong candidacy points. “...this must be the core” the former leader said. Then addressing his relationship with the interim government, Taylor went on, “It is not about confrontation, it is about engagement”
Taylor’s post convention statements continue as he repeatedly asserts his integrity and party loyalty.
“I am a team player and, regardless of what happened at the convention, I will abide by the party’s constitution and support the leadership,” he said.
However, in 2005, after Taylor lost the leadership of the then opposition party to Floyd Seymour, he withdrew from local politics.
Nevertheless, he made a re-appearance at the November 2011 PDM convention and was seemingly able to move party voters by reading a letter given to him by then party leader Douglas Parnell out of context, reportedly misrepresenting the purpose of the letter by claiming it demonstrated preference for his (Taylor’s) leadership over Parnell’s own abilities.
As reported separately
, delegates at last month’s PDM convention heard Taylor claim that, in past years, British officials had asked that he, as then chief minister, remove then government minister Oswald Skippings because of certain allegedly tainted dealings. Skippings, according to Taylor, had dealings with a US developer who was eventually jailed in the USA for fraud there. Despite these accusations by Taylor, Skippings easily won in a 42 to 29 vote count, as only 71 delegates voted at the Grand Turk convention.
Taylor now believes that, despite his loss and negative statements, the PDM will endorse him to run under the party banner as one of their 15 candidates.
“I believe the party will allow me to run at large and will not be that brutal (to refuse his right to a PDM candidacy),” Taylor said.