Widow of late Barbados PM gets by-election nod

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday January 3, 2011 – The widow of late Prime Minister David Thompson will contest a by-election later this month to fill the seat left vacant by her late husband.

Mara Thompson got the green light during the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) nomination meeting yesterday, in the St John constituency, where scores of constituents gathered outside to declare their support for her. 

She won 60 of the 69 votes, securing an overwhelming victory over Leroy McClean, Anthony Walrond, Vere Brathwaite, David Gittens and Peter David. Two others who had initially thrown their hat into the ring – DLP Senator Jepter Ince and Dale Lashley – withdrew from the race and gave their endorsement to Thompson.

The vote was later ratified by the DLP’s general council.

Thompson will go up against the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) candidate, businessman Hudson Griffith, in the January 20 by-election, just about three months after her husband died of pancreatic cancer.

The St John constituency is a DLP stronghold and many believe it is an almost impossible task for the BLP to win the seat, especially with Thompson’s widow on the DLP ticket.

Although saying after Thompson’s death that he would be taking a break from the political scene, the late prime minister’s political advisor Hartley Henry has indicated he will be assisting in Mara’s campaign.  

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