New Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) party leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson (R) and Sean Astwood deputy leader (L)
In a special convention on Saturday, the opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) elected Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson party leader and Sean Astwood deputy leader. Both new leaders are recently elected members of parliament. Robinson is the official leader of the opposition and topped all “at large” candidates in votes obtained in the November 9 elections.
Astwood is the elected representative for the Five Cays election district on Provo and was elected to fill the number two spot vacated as Robinson moved to take over the party leadership
Sources present at the convention indicated that both leaders were unopposed and were elected by a unanimous show of hands. There were no dissenting votes for either new leader.
The special convention came about as the direct result of a post election petition created and signed by 11 prominent party members. The petition, which was reportedly read by the national chairman Lyndon Hall, had asked then leader Oswald Skippings to resign or submit to an election. Hall reported that, at a National Governing Council meeting called to discuss the petition, Skippings opted not to resign.
However, Skippings was reportedly absent from this convention and his name was not placed in nomination. Skippings, while obtaining core support from his party and an assumed 200 independent or cross-over voters, placed seventh out of eleven “at large” candidates and was beaten by his own party members Robinson, Derek Taylor and Josephine Connolly.
Robinson thanked the convention for the confidence shown in her and promised to devote herself to preparing the party for taking over the government.
“We believe we will have the chance to become the government of the day as a result of the by-elections or, if need be, we will remain in opposition until a general election is called,” she said.
Robinson also announced that she would be working on a shadow cabinet to be named in a few days.