Another new face is in the line-up of candidates to contest the next General Elections on a ticket of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
Former Secondary School Teacher, Randolph Harrison Fleary was last week Wednesday night endorsed as the NDC Candidate for the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
THE NEW TODAY Newspaper managed to catch up with the new political entrant who came to the mainland last weekend to attend a retreat of the 25-year old Congress party.
In talking about the task ahead, Fleary said he had to abide with the wishes of the people to come forward and serve in another capacity after retiring from the teaching profession in April.
“In Carriacou and Petite Martinique, several persons have been asking me what it is I’m going to do? Would I not step up to the plate and assist by running instead of Mr. (George) Prime?” he said.
According to Fleary due to the fact that the question was repeated to him several times, he decided to step forward and accept the challenge.
He gets the nod over Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Senator George Prime who failed to win the seat in 2003 and 2008.
The current MP for the Constituency is attorney-at-law, Elvin Nimrod, the former Minister of Legal Affairs in the former New National Party (NNP) administration.
Fleary disclosed that as part of the process, he held talks with Sen. Prime and other influential people on the island who urged him to step forward in the interest of the party.
“Mr. Prime and I did quite a lot of discussions, and he advised me to take it up,” he said.
Fleary pointed out that outside of politics, both he and Sen. Prime have a very good relationship.
He said now that he is involved in politics and being on the same team with Prime who once served as the NDC Deputy Political Leader, that has now strengthened things for him.
The NDC Candidate for Carriacou stressed that soon after his retirement from teaching at the Hillsborough Secondary School (HSS) he got involved in the Constituency Branch of the ruling party where he played a pivotal role in helping to put structures in place.
He is optimistic that he can bring home the seat for NDC, which it lost to Nimrod in the 1999 general elections due to his association with many persons on the sister isle including the young, middle-aged and elderly.
Fleary is confident that one of the things that is in his favour in the Constituency is his relationship with the youth.
“Having been a secondary school teacher, most of the persons leaving school in the last four years had direct links with me, and so that leaves an attachment,” he said.
“I have been very much on the ground with the local people, with the people at the lower level, lower socio-economic level,” he added.
According to the NDC Caretaker Candidate, he has a personal attachment to senior citizens due to his close association with two grand aunts.
As a musician, Fleary pointed out that he is often invited to play at birthday celebrations and other social gatherings with his band.
“I move with just about everyone. I move around the island with both thick and thin, it doesn’t matter your socio-economic background, or your levels. That has nothing to do with me. I am of the philosophy that I can be happy making other people happy,” he said.
The NDC will be introducing a number of new faces for the next elections that are constitutionally due next year.
The party recently expelled ten persons including five elected MP’s who have been accused of violating the core values of the party such as a commitment to good governance, accountability, and respect for institutions especially a commitment to the political leadership of the Prime Minister.
Among the new entrants are Terrie Hillaire for the Constituency of St. Andrew’s North West, Denneth Modest for St. Mark’s, Dr. George Vincent for St. John’s, Merle Byer, St. George South, and Randal Robinson, St. George South East.
The NDC will soon unveil new candidates for the Town of St. George, St. Patrick’s West and St. David’s in its hope to hold onto power.